26 January 2004
Lie (noun): falsehood, fabrication, prevarication, fib, untruth, falsification, invention, mendacity, canard.
Ah woe is me, what’s got into the world when those who claim to be fearless in pursuit of the truth – the great and glorious media, schooled, we are told in the art of assembling the dissembled – are afraid to utter the word lie. LIE! There, I’ve said it twice but I don’t feel any better. Perhaps if I contextualise it, I’ll feel less unclean, less soiled by our mendacious government headed by a gang of canards, who with the complicity of a cowardly media, falsify reality and prevaricate when challenged, fabricate inventions and tell us untruths about their reasons for going to war.
Language is a wonderful thing, it is I am told what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom, though judging by the actions of the gang of pirates Blair, Bush, Straw, Powell, Rice, Perle, Wolfowitz, Cheney et al, we need to redefine the word animal; (adj.) bestial, animalistic, beastly, brutal, wild, feral, untamed, gross and swinish. I fear a gross injustice has been done the animal kingdom, who with notable exceptions (and no doubt programmed into their genes) never lie, prevaricate or invent.
Today’s Independent (26/01/04) (adj.) autonomous, unconstrained, free, self-ruling, self-reliant, self governing, separate and unregimented – has no problem complying with our lying government and deny the meaning of its own name.
“Blair defiant over WMD as aides face Hutton censure”
The entire front page piece is no more than a catalogue of buck-passing from one person to the next, with the head of this or that department prevaricating and dissembling over what words really mean or who said what to whom and when and under what circumstances, but never once is the word lie mentioned. The closest we get (and that’s about as far away as the apparently defunct Mars Beagle II) is replacement of the word “exaggeration” with that of “wrong” which I suppose is a minute step forward for journalism if still a giant step backwards for humanity and the truth.
Yet even where the obvious collides with the lies, the Independent merely passes it on to us as if it has no relevance whatsoever to the ‘paper’s remit of autonomous and unconstrained investigation of the truth. Eg, “senior officials of the Defence Intelligence Staff (DIS) told the government before the war that they had “absolutely no idea” how many chemical or biological weapons Saddam possessed. [emph. added]””
It occurs to me that corporate journalism as it is known, has more to do with the art of filling empty space with yet more empty space but composed of words that by chance make up sentences that carry no useful meaning.
Okay, let’s give the Indie’s journos the benefit of the doubt here and say that the story on page one is no more than a catalogue disguised to look like news and engineered as is usual, not by the writers but by the sub-editor and/or editor to fit the prevailing reality that the dominant culture would transmit to us. A word changed here or there can make a world of difference as Andrew Gilligan knows only too well.
For the real deal, we need to turn to the editorial where Alice meets Wonderland, for it is here that we read that:
“The Prime Minister’s defence of the war in Iraq is becoming more baffling.”
As if this is not strange enough and no doubt just in case we don’t get it, the editorial goes on to say:
“…his [Blair’s] insistence that the intelligence on Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction was right is beginning to look detached from reality.”
Baffling, detached from reality? Are they implying that Blair is bonkers? Or is it a roundabout way of saying lie? No such luck buddy for later in the editorial it tells us:
“It would be more credible for him to say that he acted in good faith, believing the evidence at the time [before the war].”
But wait a minute let’s back up here. On page one it quite clearly says that “before the war” the best intelligence available had no idea how many WMDs Saddam had. And crucially, missing from the story on page one, is the fact that also before the war, we knew the 45 minutes was a lie and the Niger Yellowcake was not only a lie but a lie based on a known fabrication. A fabrication moreover, that the Independent reported on its front page (without comment of course) on 6 May 2003:
“The Niger Connection: Tony Blair. Bogus documents and the case for war“.
Although the Niger lie was known well before then, so why did the Independent wait six weeks before running the story and why not include it in the story above given its relevance?
“U.N. Official: Fake Iraq Nuke Papers Were Crude”
By Louis Charbonneau
Reuters Wednesday 26 March 2003
(For i’n’i’s coverage of this see “We know what they knew and we know when they knew it”)
So what we have here is a genuine Alice in Wonderland, where page one is the mirror and the world inside the mirror is the Independent’s editorial that shamelessly contradict each other without missing a beat. What no doubt scares the corporate owners of the Independent shitless, is why the hell won’t Blair admit to merely being “wrong” so the pirates can get on with the business of taking over the planet? After all, they’ve got a great cover story when the editorial tells us that “the intelligence was deeply, deeply flawed.” The problem of course, is that both the intelligence and the government have been using each other as an alibi, something the editorial fails to inform us of. But in their own peculiar self-delusionary way, the editorial reluctantly admits as much when it says:
“Yet Mr Blair cannot say the intelligence at the time has turned out to be untrue, because that would require him to concede the demand for an inquiry into why the intelligence services got it so wrong.”
And in doing so, the cat would truly be let out of the bag, for make no mistake, if push comes to shove and the fundamental mendacity of the state’s machinations were in real danger of being revealed, then Blair would have to be pushed out and quickly.
Never has the state been so vulnerable as it is right now and from its own complacency in a macabre, post-modern caricature of Nixon during his White House days as he sat in the Oval Office, zonked on downers and immune to the world outside. And we thought the only brain-dead people were the neo-cons in Washington DC.
Ultimately however, aside from all the bullshit in the Independent, the argument is a reductio ad absurdum, with all the relevant information missing, hinging as it does on whether or not Saddam had WMDs, not on whether going around invading foreign countries was fundamentally wrong, not to mention illegal no matter how you try to justify it. That the underlying motive was strategic and economic, something the Independent won’t touch with a ten foot-long aluminium tube (preferably one not designed to separate uranium from yellowcake with), preferring rather to dismiss such notions as the rantings out of conspiracy corner. But of course, we’re used to this smearing of any version of reality that doesn’t come out of the school of ‘objective’ journalism and the bunch of smug ‘intellectuals’ who write such drivel.
If by some miracle, the writers (let’s forget the editors, they know what they’re doing) for the Independent were to read F. William Engdahl’s story on the ‘A New American Century?‘, and at least consider its argument, we would perhaps have a little more faith in the ‘paper’s pronouncements. But until such time as the Independent gets to live up to its name, I suppose we’ll just have to treat it as rather mediocre and boring fiction designed to reassure the chattering classes that the world is run by rational people and not by a gang of desperate gangsters who will do anything to hang onto their ill-gotten gains.