|Atrocities of the Mainstream Media
Detective Watson on the Case of Syndicated Columnist Crime
Part 1 - James S. Robbins of the National Review
|Welcome to the first instalment of what no doubt promises to be a lengthy series. Initially, we focus on the inane rant of NRO contributor and 'national security analyst' James S. Robbins. Here I dissect his pathetic piece of 'journalism' concerning the recently released French book 'The Appalling Fraud' by Thierry Meyssan. This book questions whether a Boeing 757 really did hit the Pentagon on September 11th, and also explores other evidence concerning government prior knowledge and involvement in the terrorist attacks. Before we begin, let me state that I do not believe anything other than a Boeing 757 hit the Pentagon on September 11th. However, I also believe that people who ask questions and present evidence suggesting otherwise should be debated in a mature manner, in an open forum. Their claims should be thoroughly investigated and their character treated with dignity. Surprise, surprise, our lapdog global mainstream media has treated anyone who presents such evidence like they are promoting pedophilia. Oh but, I forgot, it's judges, major universities and, you guessed it, the mainstream media that are actually promoting pedophilia.
The '9/11 denial' article in full can be found at http://www.nationalreview.com/robbins/robbins040902.asp
Robbins' comments appear in black, my retort in red. Hyperlinks are blue, please reference them as they appear.
Well, it did not take long for the ridiculous to find its way into print. In what is billed as the "first independent inquiry" into the events of Sept. 11, French left-wing activist Thierry Meyssan comes to the shocking conclusion that the Pentagon was not hit by American Airlines Flight 77. His book, L'Effroyable Imposture (The Frightening Fraud) is apparently a hot seller in his native land, the first 20,000 copies having been whisked off the shelves with more to follow. Meyssan, who had published his views as early as October 8 on his website, the Voltaire Network, (the philosophe must be spinning in his grave having his name appropriated by this imbecile), proves, at least to his own satisfaction, that the damage to the Pentagon could not have been caused by a Boeing 757, but was in fact the result of a carefully planned truck bombing or missile strike which was then made to look like a plane crash.
Robbins snorts and sneers with his "first independent inquiry" line. Well, considering Vice President Dick Cheney called Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, telling him not to allow investigation into the events preceding September 11th and how the attack wasn't prevented, independent inquiries are the only bloody way any of this information is going to be aired in the public arena! Robbins then gets the name of the book wrong, the proper translation is actually 'The Appalling Fraud' - but we'll let that slide. And then the name calling! Three sentences in and Robbins is already attacking Meyssan's character before he even addresses any of the evidence! You will recall I used the words 'inane' and 'pathetic' earlier on. I was describing Robbins' article and not the man himself. Attacking the character because you can't attack the evidence is right out of 101 debunking exercise par excellence. But why can't Robbins attack the evidence? We'll find out soon...
Meyssan offers as evidence a careful analysis of images of the crash site. (See "Hunt the Boeing," a site based on Meyssan's assertions and run by his son, and the point-by-point refutation here.) He also notes discrepancies in the eyewitness descriptions. (See here for a compendium of eyewitness accounts that, in fact, all pretty much agree.) Note that I haven't read the book — I'm waiting for the movie — but presumably Meyssan answers salient questions such as, if Flight 77 didn't hit the Pentagon, where is it? Where are Barbara Olson and the other passengers who left loved ones behind? If the eyewitnesses can't agree on what they saw, what was it they are disagreeing about and why are there so many of them?
Eyewitnesses are great aren't they? Especially when they fit the government line. Such sterling testimony however has a habit of disappearing when it doesn't fit the government line. How about the 70+ eyewitnesses to the fact that TWA 800 was hit by a missile? Oh no, when the government says it's an accident, it MUST be an accident. How about the many material witnesses to the Kennedy assassination that died shortly after the incident? Consensus history fails miserably in preserving their experiences. And now we find out why Robbins is so inadequate in attacking the evidence! He hasn't even read the bloody book the entire article is based on! Talk about ignorance! Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the basic process of journalism supposed to work like this...you do some research and then write up your conclusions? Mr. Robbins must have been running late on printing deadlines and missed out the entire first half of that technique! And then there's Barbara Olson. Mrs Olson is alleged to have twice called her husband from an American Airlines Flight 77 seat-telephone, before the aircraft slammed into the Pentagon. Quite a feat considering Olson didn't have her mobile phone or credit card (required to use the customer 757 phone) with her.
No matter. Meyssan's purpose is to uncover a much deeper plot of the United States against the world. He reveals other interesting facts, like bin Laden was an agent of the U.S. who was used by President Bush to destroy secret CIA offices in the World Trade Towers. Seems like a lot of effort — when Stansfield Turner wanted to do it he just fired a bunch of guys. And if the WTC planes were part of the plan, and presumably also United Flight 93 that crashed in Pennsylvania, why go to the trouble of fabricating a strike on the Pentagon instead of just using another aircraft like the missing Flight 77? At some point Occam's Razor has to come into play. But to the tortured mind of Meyssan, whose other causes include hard anti-Catholicism and "rejection of a return to a moral order" it probably makes a lot of sense.
The fact that bin Laden was (at the very least) a former CIA asset is on the record. Even MSNBC reported this fact years prior to 9/11. Robbins is seemingly giving us an overview of the details of the book when he's never even laid eyes on the damn thing! I've been tracking this whole stinking rat for 7 months and not once have I even come across a 'theory' that one of the goals of the attack was to destroy secret CIA offices. It seems Robbins is making it up as he goes along (he only has 2 hours until print deadline and would prefer to go to lunch than do a little hardcore research). Occam's Razor tells us that the most likely explanation or cause of an event is the simplest. Unfortunately, this rule did not seem to apply to Chair of the Senate Intelligence Oversight Committee, Arlen Specter, who asked us to believe that a shot was made from a sixth story window, entered the back of Kennedy yet rose and flew out the neck, altering it's trajectory to cause seven wounds in Kennedy and Governor Connally in the seat ahead of Kennedy. To Robbins, the simplest explanation is always the government line. Occam's Razor is always what CNN are saying. This means Robbins doesn't have to bother doing any objective research or analysis. He can pick up his NRO pay check and still have time for afternoon golf. Robbins ends this paragraph with another assault on Meyssan's character, which has nothing to do with the issue at hand. It always amazes me that mainstream journalists can pluck quotes out of thin air, but when an independent investigator writes a report with fifty footnotes and sources, it's all a conspiracy theory.
Today is Yom Hashoah, the Day of Remembrance of the Holocaust, and Meyssan's theory fits neatly with those of the Holocaust deniers. In both cases, the premises of their originators are indefensible, which forces them into a position where they have to throw the facts overboard to sustain their arguments. But notions like this are kept alive by people who have a predisposition to believe them, those who have pre-existing grudges and will engage in whatever reality-denying behavior justifies their baseline prejudices. For example, it is already widely believed in the Middle East that Sept. 11 was not perpetrated by bin Laden but by the Mossad, the CIA, or some other group, in order to give the United States a pretext to intervene in the region. Meyssan's theory is a qualitative step beyond the idea that al Qaeda was not behind the attacks — he denies that the attack on the Pentagon even happened, at least not "the way the government says it did." This story is certain to find fertile soil in some of the more radical quarters, especially among those that both deny the Holocaust happened and wish it had been more effective. For example Ibrahim Abu-al-Naja, the first deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, who complained about how the world was going to make the Palestinians "pay the price for what happened to [the Jews], if indeed anything had happened to them." Or the recent editorial on WAFA, the Palestinian Authority news service, that admitted that a few Jews went to the gas chambers, but "about whose number there is some ambiguity." (WAFA had no trouble counting the 12 million Native Americans allegedly exterminated in the 17th-19th centuries.) If Meyssan has any sense at all, he will rush out an Arabic edition pronto.
Oh now this really kills me! Robbins actually lumps the left-wing liberal Meyssan and by proxy anyone who investigates September 11 inconsistencies as a Jew hating Nazi! Gee, I haven't heard that one before, James. And once again, such childlike outbursts have NOTHING TO DO WITH THE EVIDENCE being debated. Yet again, this is character assassination. Then we get the token piece of amateur psychology. Oh yes, I have a predisposition to believe in such notions. I'm really glad that our own 'leaders' are killing us, it really makes my day. Believe me, I wish that the world was just the good guys (Bush) versus the bad guys (bin Laden) - but unfortunately it isn't. The world is shades of grey. I could flip this piece of imitation Freudian crap on its head and boldly state that Robbins and his like have a predisposition to buy the government version of events hook, line and sinker every time, otherwise they would start questioning what else they reported on in the past that was completely false, ultimately leading to the unfortunate conclusion that their whole careers have been utterly worthless. Robbins then trots out the Nazi line again...yawn...and ends the paragraph by throwing in the Palestinians for good measure. You're either with Mr. Robbins or you're with the Arab terrorists and Hitler. Even more ironic is the fact that as I write, Palestinians are being ruthlessly slaughtered at Jenin in a manner that would make Hitler proud.
The answer to Meyssan and any other such revisionist is the truth, particularly the primary sources, the body of knowledge compiled by those who experienced the events in question. In the case of the Holocaust, the affirmative evidence is overwhelming, particularly the living record, the dwindling numbers of survivors and witnesses who have assumed the responsibility to chronicle their stories, to relay them personally to generations born long after the events. Likewise with the Sept. 11 attacks, it is incumbent to remember, and through memory to prevent similar events from happening again. The images of the WTC attacks speak for themselves. Where video is lacking, as in the case of Flight 77 (which is more proof of the plot, says Meyssan) it is up to the eyewitnesses to tell their stories.
Here's a shocker, I agree with Robbins. The answer is the truth! So where the hell is it? Oh wait a minute, Robbins is still talking about the Holocaust. Eyewitnesses...refer back to TWA, Kennedy and then factor in dead and completely stonewalled. The government has plenty of eyewitnesses when it needs them.
So here's mine. I was in my Washington office doing research when one of the secretaries told me that an aircraft had hit the World Trade Center. We brought the news up on the projection screen in our darkened conference room and watched the coverage, seeing endless six-foot high replays of the impacts and explosions. It was unsettling, even disorienting, but my colleagues and I were appraising it professionally, trading theories on who was to blame and how the terrorists coordinated the attacks. We did not come to any firm conclusions.
So here we have Robbins and his colleagues trading theories, unable to figure out what the hell is going on...UNTIL THE GOVERNMENT TELLS THEM! I have read some of Robbins' other articles (I have a death wish) and he just loves to parrot the government line, with my favourite quote being "Bin Laden did it." Robbins really is at the forefront of the leading edge of journalism. I'm still waiting to be presented with some actual evidence to ascertain bin Laden as the mastermind. Other than, that is, a grainy tape of a fat grinning look-alike praising the attacks or bin Laden himself sitting on a towel on the beach. Tony Blair was apparently presented with a dossier of evidence a few days after the attacks, he never saw fit to mention any of it in public though. Still, I'm willing to take the government version of events as gospel. But what about all the evidence where the government trains, funds, coddles, protects and shepherds in the terrorists? What about top Clinton impeachment lawyer David Schippers banging on John Ashcroft's door months prior to September 11th saying lower Manhatten is about to be attacked? What about FBI agents now forming legal cases against Bush who told them to lay off al-Qaeda? You're the 'journalist' Mr. Robbins, give us some answers.
I went back to my office around 9:20. A short time later a friend of mine called, an Air Force officer, and we spoke awhile about the strikes in New York. I was standing, looking out my large office window, which faces west and from six stories up has a commanding view of the Potomac and the Virginia heights. (When I hired on my boss said we had the best view in town. True, most days.) The Pentagon is about a mile and half distant in the center of the tableau. I was looking directly at it when the aircraft struck. The sight of the 757 diving in at an unrecoverable angle is frozen in my memory, but at the time, I did not immediately comprehend what I was witnessing. There was a silvery flash, an explosion, and a dark, mushroom shaped cloud rose over the building. I froze, gaping for a second until the sound of the detonation, a sharp pop at that distance, shook me out of it. I shouted something both extremely profane and sacrilegious and told my friend, "They hit the Pentagon. We're under attack. Gotta go." I hung up the phone and turned back to the window to see the dark cloud spreading. I yelled down the hall, "Look out the window!" I heard gasps outside, and a researcher dashed into my office and stared. I grabbed my bags and said I was getting out of the building and invited others to do the same. I took the elevator down and walked to the edge of the greensward, in easy view of the Pentagon across the river. I set down my bags and stood in the dew soaked grass, seeing the brilliant blue sky filling with rolling clouds of smoke. The blackness stretched south the length of the horizon. The adrenaline of the initial shock had worn off a bit, and I was able to take in the enormity of the event. Even more than witnessing the plane crash, I remember those long helpless minutes standing in the grass.
Hurrah!!! Mr. Robbins, after calling Meyssan a tortured imbecile Nazi, finally gets to the point! Now he could have put this paragraph at the top of the page and saved me the time having to write this report on how the mainstream media methodically attack character and not evidence! Well done Mr. Robbins. I just wish the TWA and Kennedy witnesses had had the same opportunity to voice their experiences in the mainstream without being scorned by people like you or murdered by their own government!
So, of course, I take it personally when a half-wit like Meyssan comes along saying it did not happen. And he is so evidently at war with reality that one is tempted not to waste time with him. His ideas are obviously foolish, easily disproved, an affront to any reasoning person. It would be easy to ignore him. But that would be a mistake. This is another front in what President Bush called "the war to save civilization itself." The history of the 20th century should show that no idea is so absurd that it cannot take destructive hold and play havoc with societies, even to the point of sanctioning mass murder. Allowing the extremists to go unchallenged only encourages them. People like Lenin, Hitler, Pol Pot and other millennial criminals were just like Meyssan at one point in their careers. If they had been opposed more vigorously sooner, perhaps they never would have attained power. When such ideas are allowed to stand, they take root among the impressionable or those predisposed to think the worst. And especially now that communications technology has made it possible to give global reach to the bizarre and archive it forever, it is essential for men and women of reason resolutely to counter the delusions of the fringe element.
James manages to throw in another insult and is also personally affronted by Meyssan. Ok, let's indulge in some more Freudian psycho-babble Mr. Robbins style. Isn't the course of objective journalism skewed when personal feelings taint the research being presented? For example, is a professor likely to vilify the second amendment when his son was killed by a gun-wielding loony? Of course he is. Waste time? Mr. Robbins hasn't wasted any time - he didn't even read the bloody book he's talking about! Meyssan may easily be disproved but I'm afraid you, Mr. Robbins can't seem to be bothered to do it! And now Meyssan is compared to butcher of Cambodia Pol Pot and other such tyrants! Now forgive me in advance, but if soft-spoken liberal Meyssan saying the Pentagon wasn't hit by a 757 leads to him becoming Mr. evil 21st century anti-Christ mass-murdering dictator supreme then I'll eat my words! Somehow I can't see it happening. The clear implication here is that freedom of speech doesn't apply to anyone who holds an alternative viewpoint. The Party must counter the delusions of that dangerous underground fringe element! Bring in the Thought Police! Hang Meyssan from the gibbet and let the birds peck out his eyes! We will not tolerate civil disobedience! If you don't support the 'war on a word' then you're a terrorist! Long live the Fourth Reich! Heil Bush!
I was there. I saw it. That is my entire rebuttal.
No it isn't! You've just bleated on for 1,500 words about how anyone who doesn't repeat the droning baa of the rest of the sheep is a foolish, half-wit, delusional, Pol Pot, Hitler, Lenin worshipping imbecile extremist! You have the right to speak your words without castigation, so should everyone else.
Prior to writing this report, I sent Mr. Robbins a short E mail, here it is...
"Joseph Watson" <email@example.com>
Subject: 9/11 Denial
Mr Robbins, great debunking exercise on the Meyssan book. Admit to never actually having read the book and call him a Nazi, marvelous. I'm so glad that we are represented in the mainstream media by such bastions of diligent research.
Eyewitnesses are great aren't they? When they fit the government line, the mainstream gives them air time. However, when they don't, such as the 70+ who saw a missile hit TWA 800, or the scores of material witnesses to the Kennedy assassination who were killed, they all turn invisible.
Oh but I'm just a grassy knoll conspiracy theorist - well here's the Washington Post vindicating that exact 'theory'!
Study Backs Theory of 'Grassy Knoll'
New Report Says Second Gunman Fired at Kennedy
Strangely enough, I agree with you, a 757 did hit the Pentagon. This is not an issue. What is an issue is why the CIA met with bin Laden in July, why Bush told the FBI to back off investigation of al-Qaeda prior to 9/11, why three of the hijackers were trained at the Pensacola Naval Air Station, why the Justice Department refused the FBI permission to open up the hard drive of Zacarias Moussaoui, admitting after that it would have prevented the attack, the list goes on.
In fact it goes on for 300+ mainstream documents. I hope you take the time to do some proper research and take a look at the archive I have compiled clearly implicating government involvement in the horrible events of September 11th.
Oh but I forgot, you don't bother actually reading the evidence, you just attack the person.
Thanks a lot Mr. Robbins.
Paul Joseph Watson.
To my absolute horrifying shock, I have received no reply to this E mail.
Unfortunately, criminal examples of 'journalism' such as this are by no means rare in the mainstream media. Which is precisely why there will be many more reports on the atrocities of the mainstream media.
Paul Joseph Watson. 21st April 2002.