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Topic 44 of 96: Media coverage of WTC attack and the aftermath

Fri, Sep 21, 2001 (18:04) | Paul Terry Walhus (terry)
What have you read and heard in the media? How are they doing on their coverage? Is it biased or slanted? What are the best media sources?
27 responses total.

 Topic 44 of 96 [news]: Media coverage of WTC attack and the aftermath
 Response 1 of 27: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Sun, Sep 23, 2001 (23:48) * 5 lines 
The Guardian's apparently scooped U.S. media on details of the impending
invasion of Afghanistan:,6903,556716,00.html

 Topic 44 of 96 [news]: Media coverage of WTC attack and the aftermath
 Response 2 of 27: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Sun, Sep 23, 2001 (23:49) * 5 lines 
According to The Guardian, a small British special forces team has
entered Afghanistan and exchanged gunfire with Taliban forces:,1361,556775,00.html

 Topic 44 of 96 [news]: Media coverage of WTC attack and the aftermath
 Response 3 of 27: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Wed, Oct  3, 2001 (09:34) * 6 lines 
Here's a web site, Re:constructions, that is an online resource and
study guide examing the media coverage of the Sept. 11 events and
aftermath, put together by people connected with the new MIT
Comparative Media Studies Program.

 Topic 44 of 96 [news]: Media coverage of WTC attack and the aftermath
 Response 4 of 27: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Sat, Oct  6, 2001 (00:48) * 48 lines

Where the plot was hatched
Bin Laden came to Afghanistan to fight the Soviets but found the country
was the perfect location for his training camps The story of the terror
attack on America begins in Afghanistan. Watch this report from NBC's Ron

By Ron Allen NBC NEWS PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Oct. 5 — Looking at the
beginning of the terrorist plot against America, one starts with the idea
of the horrific attack. Where was it born? That question leads to a
country in the cross-hairs, Afghanistan, where the plot was hatched
ACROSS THE MOUNTAINS, deep inside Afghanistan, the plot against
America was hatched. And it is in Peshawar that a trail of evidence leads
to bin Laden.
Two days before the attack, in a call to his mother in Syria, bin
Laden told her something “big” would happen. Then reports say bin Laden
evacuated his camps in Afghanistan days before the attacks, and
congratulatory calls were intercepted between his operatives in the days
that followed.
It is in Peshawar, Pakistan, just 20 miles from the Afghan border,
where some of bin Laden’s most ardent supporters are found.
“If they go after him without showing any credible evidence,” says
journalist Hamid Mir, “a dead Osama will become more dangerous for the
Americans than a live Osama.”
An outcast among his 52 brothers and sisters, bin Laden moved to
Peshawar in 1984 to help the mujahadeen rebels fight their holy war
against the Soviets. The multi-millionaire bin Laden poured his wealth
into local charities, using his family’s Saudi construction business to
build tunnels, bunkers and roads to help the war effort.
While bin Laden was waging war against the Soviets, he began to see
Afghanistan as the perfect place to set up training camps and recruit new
fighters in the first steps toward assembling a network of terror — a
terror network targeted at America. Why?
Bin Laden turned on America during the Gulf War, when U.S. troops
went to the sacred Muslim soil of Saudi Arabia. America’s continued
support for Israel has only increased his outrage.
His message of hatred of America and Jews resonates in religious
schools in Peshawar and with thousands of fighters who have come to his
Afghan training camps to join his holy war.
“They were given training, they were provided with material, they
were provided weapons,” says former Pakistani legislator Lateef Afridi.
“Afghanistan in due course of time became the paradise of terrorists.”
Meanwile, evidence mounts against the man the CIA calls, “The
Manager,” for the way he applies his skills and money to the cold business
of terrorism.
Now in his mountain hideaway, bin Laden prepares himself and his
closest followers for an American attack.

 Topic 44 of 96 [news]: Media coverage of WTC attack and the aftermath
 Response 5 of 27: Marcia  (MarciaH) * Sat, Oct  6, 2001 (21:09) * 3 lines 
Terry, the above comment on OBL planning his next attack does not surprise me.

Did anyone see the MSNBC footage on how the Taliban treats women? Absolutely appalling!!! If they have another generation of children it will surely be by rape.

 Topic 44 of 96 [news]: Media coverage of WTC attack and the aftermath
 Response 6 of 27: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Mon, Oct  8, 2001 (14:17) * 4 lines 
Here's the text of today's Bin Laden video release:

 Topic 44 of 96 [news]: Media coverage of WTC attack and the aftermath
 Response 7 of 27: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Thu, Oct 11, 2001 (10:53) * 25 lines 

The PBS newshour is doing a story on them today:

* An E-mail Service of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
* and the Online NewsHour
October 8, 2001


Qatar-based Al-Jazeera has recently garnered international attention as one
of the only broadcast outlets with an eye on the action in Afghanistan.
Yesterday, Al-Jazeera provided U.S. news networks with a rare taped
statement by suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden, and it has broadcast
statements by U.S. and British leaders to its Arab audience.

Tonight, media correspondent Terence Smith examines Al-Jazeera's growing
role as a conduit between the Western and Arab worlds.

Visit after 9 pm Eastern time for more
information on this segment.

 Topic 44 of 96 [news]: Media coverage of WTC attack and the aftermath
 Response 8 of 27: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Thu, Oct 11, 2001 (19:32) * 11 lines 
Ventura fears he, Mall and Dome are terrorist targets

Gov. Jesse Ventura said Wednesday the decision to withhold information
about his public schedule from the media is due to a concern that he could
be a target of terrorism.


 Topic 44 of 96 [news]: Media coverage of WTC attack and the aftermath
 Response 9 of 27: Marcia  (MarciaH) * Thu, Oct 11, 2001 (21:01) * 1 lines 
Probably wise! I'm sure they know he was a Navy Seal at one time!

 Topic 44 of 96 [news]: Media coverage of WTC attack and the aftermath
 Response 10 of 27: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Sun, Oct 14, 2001 (09:09) * 7 lines

White House aides said Bush has been startled by the depth of
hatred among Muslim protesters for America
following air raids on Afghanistan in response to the Sept. 11 attacks.

from a Reuters article

 Topic 44 of 96 [news]: Media coverage of WTC attack and the aftermath
 Response 11 of 27: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Sun, Oct 14, 2001 (09:12) * 48 lines 

Myths of American misdeeds
The view that the US brought the attacks on itself weakens the fight against terror, says Steven Simon and Daniel Benjamin
Published: October 1 2001 20:09 | Last Updated: October 1 2001 20:15

As the US begins a long, intense struggle against Osama bin Laden and his network, some people claim that the US is the author of its own misfortune. Their arguments are founded on myths about US misdeeds in the world.

At a moment when the US must be united at home, supported by its allies and clearly understood in the world, these myths must be laid to rest.

The first is that the attacks of September 11 would never have occurred if the US had been putting pressure on Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians. This claim mistakenly transforms Mr bin Laden's jihad into an extension of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

In fact, over the last decade Mr bin Laden has shown little interest in the dynamics of Palestinian-Israeli relations. His overriding focus has been on the US and its military presence on the Arabian peninsula - in his view, the most appalling manifestation of the intrusion of the west into the sacred realm of Islam. This is the central grievance that provides the justification for his call to "kill Americans and their allies - civilian and military - in any countries in which it is possible".

Mr bin Laden wishes to see the west so exhausted and demoralised by carnage that it withdraws to northern Europe and North America. Israel is just one of many places where US interests and the west in general can be attacked. Where precisely Israel draws its borders with Palestine is irrelevant for Mr bin Laden to whom the very existence of a Jewish state in the Middle East is an unholy affront.

Those who contend that America's failure to force Israeli concessions lies at the root of Mr bin Laden's rage have much to explain.

Why did those associated with Mr bin Laden mount attacks against the US in the years that the Oslo process was being implemented? Why does Mr bin Laden claim credit for murdering Americans in Somalia in 1993 if the Palestinian cause is his motivation?

The irony is that proponents of the myth that the Arab-Israeli conflict is a central cause of the September 11 attacks are tarring the Palestinian cause with mass murder. The US must continue to work for a just peace in the Middle East but not because of Mr bin Laden.

The second myth is that Mr bin Laden's terrorism is driven by poverty. According to this claim, economic exploitation by outsiders and corruption at home fuel this terrorism; terrorism would fade away with a massive programme of assistance.

Without a doubt, the economic stagnation and privation in much of the Islamic world have bred a powerful discontent. This, in turn, helps explain Mr bin Laden's appeal to the discontented in countries from northern Africa to Indonesia. It also gives some direction for a western effort to dry up support for Mr bin Laden's followers. But poverty is not the motor behind murder on this apocalyptic scale.

The World Trade Center conspirators themselves give the lie to this myth. They came not from the hovels of Gaza from but the comfort of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The ringleader was the son of an Egyptian lawyer.

Like the radical Islamists of Egypt in the 1970s and 1980s, they came predominantly from the professional middle class. In the US, they lived comfortably, paid for expensive flight training and had money to spare.

The uncomfortable truth is that these attacks were motivated by a violent religious sensibility, not a desire to help the poor of Islam.

The third myth is that the US helped create Mr bin Laden through its involvement in the Afghanistan war. This myth has become a favourite of European and Middle Eastern commentators who seek to justify their own anti-Americanism. They argue that the US not only made Mr bin Laden a formidable figure among radical Islamists but also lit the fuse of militant Islam that now haunts us.

It is true that Afghanistan has been a crucible for extremism. But blaming this on the US ignores the fact that it was the Soviet Union that invaded Afghanistan in 1979 and, through a puppet regime, brutalised its people beyond recognition.

The US would have been a barely observable presence in Afghanistan even at the height of the war and Mr bin Laden probably never met a US agent, let alone got recruited by the CIA. The US and the Mujahideen did share important objectives in Afghanistan. But what sparked Mr bin Laden's campaign against the US was his discovery, on returning from his war against one infidel army, that yet another was "occupying" the cradle of Islam with the blessing of its Saudi custodians.

These myths may make some feel better about their moral equivocation in the face of the suffering in New York. If so, they will prove politically debilitating in the long term. But by enabling believers to deny the undeniable threat Mr bin Laden poses, these myths undermine the capacity to defend our societies from devastating attack right now.

The writers are, respectively, assistant director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies and senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies

 Topic 44 of 96 [news]: Media coverage of WTC attack and the aftermath
 Response 12 of 27: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Sun, Oct 14, 2001 (09:18) * 5 lines 
Meet Biff Bin Laden.

(son of world's most wanted man)

 Topic 44 of 96 [news]: Media coverage of WTC attack and the aftermath
 Response 13 of 27: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Sun, Oct 14, 2001 (09:19) * 3 lines 
Two networks are not airing the Bin Laden tape.

 Topic 44 of 96 [news]: Media coverage of WTC attack and the aftermath
 Response 14 of 27: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Sun, Oct 14, 2001 (09:21) * 1 lines 
The media coverage of the anthrax situation has gone way overboard. Are our media outlets becoming the whipping boys of the terrorists, carrying out their dictates? It would seem so from the things we are seeing over, and over and over and . . .

 Topic 44 of 96 [news]: Media coverage of WTC attack and the aftermath
 Response 15 of 27: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Sun, Oct 14, 2001 (09:22) * 5 lines 
The truth about cipro and anthrax.

NBC's Dr. Bob Arnot says we're getting way to panicked over this anthrax thing, it's a common disease that's very hard to get and it's not contagious.

 Topic 44 of 96 [news]: Media coverage of WTC attack and the aftermath
 Response 16 of 27: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Sun, Oct 14, 2001 (22:37) * 860 lines 
Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2001 14:30:06 -0400
From: "Ivo Skoric"
Subject: ivogram: media watch x4

From: "Ivo Skoric"
Date: Wed, 10 Oct 2001 17:08:46 -0400
Subject: Media Watch

Prompted by the US mainstream electronic media failure to report the anti-
war protest from Times Square, New York, on October 7, I decided to
start a Media-Watch project, kind of like what we have seen done by the
dozen of Western NGO-s with Croatian, Bosnian and Serbian media
during the wars of Yugoslav succession. There it was widely perceived
that the state-owned mainstream electronic media were used by
nationalist governments to manufacture the consent for war. In the
words of Noam Chomsky, here in the U.S. the media are used in pretty
much the same way right now.

On Monday, the second day of the air-strikes against Taliban positions
in Afghanistan, I watched news from three major European sources to
compare them to the major American TV networks. Here are my findings:

Deutsche Welle gave a lot of space to considerations about fate of the
aid workers still held prisoners by Taliban in Afghanistan. They went all
but unmentioned on American TV on Monday (they were mentioned on
Tuesday). Deutsche Welle also noted that among the first casualties of
the bombing were aid agencies vital for survival of Afghanistan civilians:
UNICEF and UNHCR buildings were burned in Queta by protesters
following the first day of bombing.

French TV went further, interviewing the doctor working with Medecins
Sans Frontieres, who expressed doubts about the real value of air drops,
calling them merely a useful propaganda tool. The anchor then went on
to mock American networks for showing endless footage of nightly
skies, supposedly, over Kabul, where not much could be seen, since
they look, indeed, quite the same like nightly skies over Bagdad or over

BBC, besides showing the disturbing footage from protests in Queta a
day ahead from its American colleagues, has also shown the (even more
disturbing) footage of burning Gaza strip, which American colleagues yet
have to gain the courage to show. We haven't yet seen what exactly did
American/British attacks destroyed in Afghanistan - the satellite photos
did show the targets, but they didn't look to an average viewer as
damaged as the UNICEF building in Queta did. The BBC reporting from
Pakistan, Egypt and Gaza, while not explicitly saying so, gave an
intelligent viewer the opportunity to imply that the main casualty of the
American/British bombing so far was the stability in the Arab world.

It is also worth to note that buildings in Gaza were not set aflame by
Israelis. They were set aflame by Palestinian protesters and by the PLO
police that cracked down on them. In apparent violation of their own
religious law that prohibits worshiping images, young Arab protesters in
all places carried pictures of Osama Bin Laden, their new messiah. Yasser
Arafat, on the other hand, wants to seize the opportunity - At what other
time could anybody imagine Syria getting a seat at the UN Security
Council? Over Shimon Peres dead body, maybe. - and get a more serious
commitment of the US to the Palestinian State. Palestinians carrying
pictures of Osama Bin Laden around are not exactly helpful in that

With each new day of bombing Afghanistan, one more Arab state is a
step closer to civil war. The problem with Arab world is demographic and
political. And it most certainly won't be helped with war. Arab countries
are full of young people. When half of the population is under 30, it is
usually easier to imagine revolutions, protests and violent upheavals.
When half of the population is under 20, some sort of change simply
MUST happen. It is impossible to believe that the old order may survive.
Particularly, if it is a corrupt, authoritarian order with no mandate of the
people. Is there any democracy in the Arab world, except for Israel,
which is not really an Arab state? No. Arab states are either former
Soviet clients like Libya, Iraq and Syria - lead by Soviet style totalitarian
regimes, or they are military dictatorships like Pakistan, Egypt or Algeria,
or they are anachronistic feudal monarchies like Saudi Arabia, Morocco,
Jordan, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrein, Yemen, U.A.E. Iran is not an Arab
state, but it is geographically a part of the Arab world (just like Israel
and it is indeed the newest political regime in the region - but, while it
does show some promise, it is still an autocratic theocracy, where the
Council of Guardians - clerics appointed by the Supreme Leader - has a
veto power over the democratically elected president and

Maybe we should start asking ourselves why in the Arab world there is
not a single state by the people and for the people. And whether does
the quest for the cheap oil has anything to do with floating corrupt
autocratic states way past their expiration date. In which case it would be
expected that oppressed population there hates those who aid and abate
the regime that oppresses them. And are we really prepared to live like
Israelis just in order to keep the oil prices low, as they are just to keep on
with their settlement policy? Is there a third way? Again, I had to browse
foreign press to catch a glimpse of such an angle. Time, Newsweek,
People, USA Today, US News & World Report, they were all
preoccupied counting the missiles and airplanes their trustees possess
to dig deeper for the causes. So, I had to turn to the British The
Economist and particularly to the Canada's Maclean's with its essay
Season Of Change by Arthur Kent that carefully tackled that issue: this
is not about winning the war and capturing Bin Laden - this is about
winning young Arab world over to "our" side, to the values of freedom,
democracy and peace.

But, while the US government espoused that rhetoric from the beginning,
it did in the end resort to the old fashioned air-war doctrine, and it did
impose the control over media reporting unseen of in a democratic state.
President Bush even wanted to cut the Congress out of the loop - on the
pretext of the leakage of sensitive information - something that even
ancient Roman Emperors would think twice before saying (less they
wanted to be found with a poisoned dagger in their chest on the next
morning). This is not how this war may be won. Osama Bin Laden
showed himself healthy, calm and belligerent on TV immediately after the
first day of attacks, simply repeating his old call on all Muslims around
the world to kill Americans wherever they can. And it works. For every
cruise missile fired in the abandoned training camp tent in Afghanistan,
there seems to be another young Arab willing to sacrifice his life doing
Al Qaeda's bidding.

So far (if we take all recent ‘accidents' to be connected to Al Qaeda) the
network focused on: a) destroying international aid facilities related to
Afghanistan - which shows precisely how a war against Afghanistan is
misguided: Osama doesn't give a damn for Afghan civilians, they may all
starve, freeze to death in brutal Afghan winter, bleed to death in
hemorrhagic fever or burn to death in American napalm for all does he
care; b) raising the general fears in developed world - by random and
colossal destruction of property, sudden cases of rare contagious
diseases, bus hijacking, etc., and; c) raising in particular the fear of
traveling by airplane - more than a half of all recent ‘accidents' were air
travel related (including the Cessna that rammed the passenger airplane
on the Milan airport).

Of the developed world the countries that depend most on the air-travel
are the English speaking former "white" colonies of British Empire, that,
together with its old master, today form the vaguely defined cultural
empire that ‘guides' rather than rules the world. With the exception of
Japan, all other industrialized, developed nations are today connected by
roads or railroads (including the U.K. after the tunnel was built). The
U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand, unlike the U.K. and Japan, are
also dependent on air-travel not only to reach other countries but also
for domestic travel - due to the large distances and poorly developed
railroad network. The air travel became not only preferred perk but also
an inevitable part of life of a Western business professional. If business
people remain scared to fly - as they currently are - not only the airlines
will suffer: with the lack of personal contact the business in general will
become slower and less ebullient. This was well known to terrorist
groups in 1970s.

Europe responded with high security on airports (what we see now in the
U.S.) and by building a high-speed rail network as an alternative
(although the train can also be hijacked and run into another train, which
at that speeds is not much less deadly). Al Qaeda did not come up with a
new idea, here. They just perfected an old one: by using suicide pilots
that crash planes, they eliminated the need for firearms and explosives,
which can be detected by the modern airport security. I am also not sure
whether the U.S. intelligence even considered a remote possibility that
other, perhaps even non-Arab, states might have an interest in dragging
the U.S. into this kind of war - despite their unequivocal support that
they publicly express now.

It is hardly a secret that it has been a while since Americans had to watch
their "boys" dying at evening news. Yet, CNN was bringing carnage to
the American dinner table often from another parts of the world: Bosnia,
Croatia, Kosovo, Serbia, East Timor, Rwanda, Congo, Iraq, Kuwait, Israel,
Chechnya, Kashmiri, Algeria, Spain (ETA), Britain (IRA), etc. The
perception is that the American viewer must have acquired the blaze
feeling that Roman public once had watching, after a good meal, the
gladiator fights in the Colosseum. This feeling, if it had existed, was
brutally and severely shattered by the September 11 events. And the
polls (although I am not sure how much could we believe them) are
strongly suggesting that Americans are now ready and prepared to
watch their soldiers die in a war that would eventually destroy Al Qaeda.

Well, the public in other countries is more than prepared - in some places
the public is relieved - to watch American ‘boys' die in war. Even more
perversely, they can't wait to see how well will American public cope
with the sight. For example, although we saw the genuinely touchy
candle-lit vigil for the victims of September 11 attacks, in downtown
Zagreb (capital of Croatia), on Friday, September 14, we were spared from
hearing how the minute of silence was broken by the group of football
hooligan youth shouting: "Vukovar, Vukovar...." The city was leveled by
the Yugoslav army, while Croatia was under the Western imposed arms
embargo, unable to defend it. This is definitively a part of the reason why
we don't see anything interesting on the major U.S. news networks: the
authorities don't think American public would cope well with the sight,
and the public support for the campaign might wane, so the media are
obviously restricted in what they can show, i.e. the media, indeed,
became manufacturers of the consent for war, just as Chomsky said, with
the story of Dick Cheney "at the secret location" rivaling ‘the best' of
what we used to hear about ailing Soviet and Chinese leaders in the days
of cold war.

Therefore, I was shocked, when, yesterday (Tuesday, October 9), at
around 8:30 pm I've heard this lyrics on the K-Rock, a commercial,
alternative-rock radio station in New York: "War is not the answer. We
should not escalate." I was stretching, and it took at least two repetitions
of that lyrics to sink into me that it was the first time since September 11
that I've heard a song with anti-war lyrics on the American radio station.
As I thought - "what's going on?" - the song went into the chorus part,
singing: "what's going on?" It was hilarious. Someone called to have
that song played. And for a while the D.J. deliberated publicly should
they or should they not play that particular song. Then they played it. It
was a tribute to Marvin Gaye by Papa-Roach. For some reason (?), the
D.J. couldn't play the entire song up until the end - the repetitions of the
‘war is not the answer' were blocked out of the song - but, cleverly, with
playing Nirvana's ‘Lythium' over it - "I am so happy..." - the most potent
sedative available on the American market. Upon the end of this, the D.J.
announced how he received an amazing number of phone calls, and he
didn't want to discuss them - he just exclaimed "who are these people?" -
and played a jingle "Freedom" before proceeding to the next song.

The jingle ‘Freedom' is K-Rocks sales pitch for free tickets for concerts -
it ends like this: " some countries the freedom is not possible, but we
live in America and we have the freedom to chose." Thanks, dude. If you
lived in Serbia, you'd be considered for the U.S. based Committee to
Protect Journalists
‘Freedom of Press Award' - but we shall at least hope that you would be able
keep your job in America after this. Of course, earlier in the day, K-Rock did
exactly what Croatia' Radio 101 did during the war in Croatia: engage in some
OBL-bashing, like encouraging listeners to go to certain Yahoo forum
and ‘kick some ass' of alleged Islamic fundamentalist supporters there.
Later in the evening I watched an intelligent show with Charlie Rose on
channel 13 and I've heard Lennon's "Imagine" played on 90.7 FM. I
think the real battle is here, not in Afghanistan. Also, a couple of days
ago I've listened to opinions of hip-hop artists, and they were strikingly
outspoken. That's good, because if the freedom is lost here, then the
ultimate results of bombing Afghanistan will be quite irrelevant.

Ivo Skoric

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

From: "Ivo Skoric"
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2001 16:13:48 -0400
Subject: Media Watch 2

"Experience hath shown, that even under the best forms [of government]
those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations,
perverted it into tyranny." -Thomas Jefferson

"Ari Fleischer, the White House press secretary, saying of news
organizations, and all Americans, that in times like these "people have to
watch what they say and watch what they do." -NY Times 9/28/2001 "In
Patriotic Time, Dissent Is Muted"

At 11 PM on Wednesday, October 10, MSNBC reported from Boca
Raton, FL, about the third (3) anthrax case so far. The reporter insisted
that anthrax was caused by a virus, although the FBI official whom her
crew taped talked about the anthrax bacteria. The expert interviewed later
in the same program also spoke of anthrax bacteria. The CNN anchor
referred to anthrax as a bacterium, and my mom, a physician, also told me
that anthrax is a bacterial disease. Obviously, the MSNBC reporter was
wrong. First - that she did not check the facts about anthrax etiology and
second - that she did not listen to what the officials around her said. The
first mistake is forgivable to a journalist - we shouldn't expect that
journalists have extensive knowledge of biology, but the second mistake
suggests the failure of observing the rules of journalism 101 - not
listening to what your sources are saying.

It is insulting that the major US media treat their public as an
undereducated, immature bunch of ignoramuses, that needs events
filtered and pre-digested for them in contravention of the spirit and letter
of the First Amendment, yet then they cannot get their facts straight.
But, besides being shabby at fact-checking, the US networks, also, in
their self-censorship attempts focus on the wrong issues. The anti-war
rally in New York on October 7, that went unreported by them, received
attention abroad. So far, I got information that CBC, Canadian TV had a
segment and German Der Spiegel magazine has an article about it. In
Germany particular the peace protests are very strong - on Monday,
October 8, 5,000 high school pupils in Berlin walked out of classes,
despite threats from the education authorities and school
superintendents, to demonstrate for peace. We did not see a report
about that on the US networks, either. On Friday, October 12, a similar
youth rally is scheduled in front of MTV studios in New York (www.9- - we shall see how is that going to be reported.

In the meantime US networks got involved in the nasty squabble about
the rights to re-broadcast Osama Bin Laden's video-fatwah from the
Qatar's Al Jazeera television. Al Jazeera is the only TV network given
permission from Taliban to film within Afghanistan. CNN has an
exclusive deal with Al Jazeera to be given their stuff 6 hours before other
networks. That usually pertains to those murky, dark green shots of
skies over Kabul with some indiscernible details and a few moving light
spots that confirm existence of the anti-aircraft fire. There is not much
competition over those. However, when Al Jazeera aired Bin Laden, other
US networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX) failed to observe the embargo,
provoking an angry response from the CNN. CNN eventually backed-off
after being accused by ABC executives of "actions bordering on war
profiteering." Indeed, it looked like the five largest world electronic media
scrambled into a fight over the crumbs that Osama Bin Laden generously
let fall of his table and onto the floor of public availability. As Muslims
once scooped the sand where the feet of prophet Mohammed walked.

That unpleasant situation provoked a stern response from the White
House. National security adviser Condolezza Rice called on the media to
exercise judgement in airing Bin Laden's statements. To that effect CNN
announced that it will not air Bin Laden at all any more. This may be yet
another dangerous precedent in stifling media freedoms worldwide. If
CNN refuses to air Bin Laden - other US networks may fear to do so as
well. No major network wants to be viewed as un-patriotic in these times.
And if US networks refuse to air Bin Laden, than other TV stations in the
world may reconsider airing him, too. Al Jazeera may risk being
suspected in aiding and abetting terrorism and having its equipment
seized if it does not join the chorus of ‘enduring freedom.' The effect
may be to completely cut off Bin Laden from the world - once he is
completely unseen and unheard off, the theory goes, he could do less
potential harm. And Condolezza might be onto something here.

First, unlike the unreported anti-war protests in New York, Osama's
message was not an example of speech protected by the First
Amendment, because it explicitly advocated violence - not only a violent
overthrow of government, but killing Americans everywhere. It is indeed
educative to see how the US networks overlooked that in their quest for
sensational news. Second, while I doubt that he ‘communicates' to
terrorist cells through such video messages, I think that is beyond the
point, because Al Qaeda for its success maybe does not depend only on
a certain number of terrorist cells, but rather on the general
dissatisfaction among young Islamic fundamentalists everywhere. In that
scenario it would be enough for Osama Bin Laden to show himself alive
and kicking on TV after the first day of bombing and say a few
regurgitated phrases about how infidel Americans should pay for
whatever they did to re-invigorate beliefs that a) Al Qaeda is impervious
to American attacks, b) that Americans are vulnerable to Al Qaeda's
attacks and c) that those attacks should go on by any means necessary
until America is defeated. This may be just enough for another suicide
bomber to step forward - even if he never was trained, financed or even
contacted by the Al Qaeda network. That's the nature of hate.

Obviously, any national security adviser would be nervous with any
further airing of Bin Laden. Also, while it would bother my libertarian
self, to see anybody, including Bin Laden, completely censored out of
the world media, it is definitely a low casualty warfare way of dealing
with the situation. Instead of killing troves of Afghan civilians and
turning Western societies to police states, maybe it would be better just
to cut-off Bin Laden from the rest of the world. If he is not seen any
more, if he is not heard off, then the rest of the world has to worry only
about the existing terrorist cells, and not about the entire population of
angry young Islamic fundamentalists, who would eventually forget him,
if he does not appear again.

However, that would not solve the underlying problem of hate for
America and the West. And frankly - that ‘problem' can't be solved by
war. The five million offered for Osama's head is also a good move. It is
reported that bribes and pay-offs can go a long way among the Afghan
warring factions. But, again, this does nothing for the underlying
problem of hate for America and the West. The Arab world is simply
undergoing some serious changes right now. And the developed world
was caught on the wrong side - primarily because of its dependence on
oil and its selfish insistence to keep the status quo in Arab world so that
oil remains cheap. This wrong should be straightened out right, now -
because this is the only long-term solution. World needs new energy
solutions. World needs democratic Arab states.

So that we can live in the world with news that would less often sound
like this:
- a truck hit a bus in Chile
- US Marines helicopter crashed in Poland
- 9 died in Cessna crash in Alaska
- US embassies around the world ordered to stock up on a 3-day supplies
of the anti-anthrax drug (that despite the officials deny terrorist activity
in connection with the anthrax cases in Florida; all US networks except
FOX bought into the ‘official version')

Of course, some of those accidents are indeed accidents that would
happen anyway - with or without Al Qaeda - and some, perhaps, while
being intentionally caused, may not have anything to do with either Al
Qaeda or Islamic militants in general. It is, however, truth that there is a
raise of dangerous events in the world after the September 11 events.
Which may have its roots in the psychology of violence: at any point of
time there is a fair amount of angry, hateful, ‘deranged' individuals in the
world. They often feel being victims of injustice and helpless in the face
of it. A percentage of them is violent, and the only thing that ‘holds them
down' is the apparent functioning of the system. It is more than just the
fear of getting caught - it is the understanding of the desperate that
desperate acts are generally unsuccessful. Al Qaeda changed that
perception very pointedly by destruction of the WTC. Suddenly it
seemed possible to punish and hurt the unworthy world. And every
sighting of Bin Laden re-enforces that bellief.

But again - it is not enough, in my view, to just eradicate Al Qaeda,
which essentially served as a fuse in already explosive world situation,
but the reasons for discontent should be addressed and dealt with. We
shouldn't feel comfortable living in the world where so many people are
unhappy. Particularly if they see us as a cause of that unhappiness.
We've seen that in former Yugoslavia. When "it started", all those
unbelievable characters started crawling out from under their rocks and
getting involved in the unspeakable acts of torture and mistreatment of
the "other side." Therefore, many of us, who came here from former
Yugoslavia, tend to see September 11 events, and the post-911 events,
as the continuance of the same evil that some of us, unfortunately, had
the opportunity to witness earlier than September 11, 2001.

On Wednesday, October 10, Indira Kajosevic, a Women In Black activist
from Belgrade and New York (and my partner - so I can't be fully
objective :)), appeared in the radio show Democracy Now. She told a
story about that ‘continuance': a mother with two sons who survived the
NATO bombing of Belgrade cowering in bomb shelters, eventually
immigrated to the US, and got a job on the 80th floor of the WTC 1. She
was there when the plane hit the building. She survived, but her sons
watched the event on TV in school, and not knowing what's happening
with her, relived the trauma from their previous Belgrade war experience,
ending up having nightmares and not being able to sleep. In the perverse
turn of circumstances, she was indeed closer to death in New York than
in Belgrade.

The yesterday's Democracy Now was about the FBI call that the feminist-
pacifist group Women in Black received in San Francisco. Some people
raised a big stink around it. I thought somebody got arrested,
interrogated or worse. Yet, it was only a phone call. It indeed is
interference, maybe harassment, but nothing sort of what Women in
Black in Serbia or Israel had been exposed too, as Ms. Kajosevic and Ms.
Svirsky (WiB Israel) told the American audience. As those, who were
involved with peace activism in the U.S., in times when this was an
interesting and invigorating country, know, peace activism inherently
entails such risks as being occasionally inconvenienced by the police,
and activists shouldn't be too much bothered about that, as the folk
singer from San Francisco pointed out. Kajosevic and Svirsky gave
examples suggesting that a little good will communication with police can
actually do some good both to the movement and to the police.


The one story that seems to be entirely absent from the mainstream US
media is that of the Bin Laden's connection to the US intelligence,
military and corporate world, mainly through the family Bush. One can
understand that stories like those would not entirely please the sitting
president, but they indeed offer a glimpse in why was it possible for
Osama Bin Laden to get away with his hate rhetoric for so long, and still
catch the US off guard. I guess, they never expected such a hit from him.
And I bet they are angry now. It all looks to me as a typical family feud
from the Dallas soap-opera - only here J.R. found a match well worthy of
his cunning, knifing Texan self.

In January 15-21,1998 issue of Nouvel Observateur, p. 76, there was an
interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski. He said that the CIA was already
aiding the future Taliban guys against the pro-Soviet Kabul goverment 6
months before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Carter gave the first
secret directive on July 3, 1979. "We knowingly increased the
probability" of the Soviets invasion in December. Brzezinski wrote Carter
at the time that "We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its
Vietnam War." Any regrets? "What is more important to the history of
the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet Empire? Some
stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe?..."

This from Carter, the guy who could not get American hostages released
by the Iran Islamic fundamentalist government. How appropriately of
that revered peacemaker to go on and aid another Islamic fundamentalist
movement in the sad course of prosecuting the cold war. And who was
the head of CIA (the one who actually did the "aiding") in that period?

Meanwhile, fresh out of Harvard Business School, young George W.
Bush returned to Midland, TX, to follow his father's footsteps in the oil
business. Beginning in 1978, he set up a series of limited partnerships -
Arbusto '78, Arbusto '79, and so on - to drill for oil. Salem Bin Laden,
Osama's older brother, was an early investor in Arbusto Energy.
According to a 1976 trust agreement, Salem bin Laden appointed James
Bath as his business representative in Houston - the same year former
President George Herbert Walker Bush served as director of the CIA.
Bath served with President W. Bush in the Texas Air National Guard, and
was one of his earliest financial backers. In 1992 Bill White, a former real
estate business partner with Bath, informed federal investigators that
Bath told him that he had assisted the CIA in a liaison role since 1976.

In sworn depositions, Bath admitted he represented four wealthy Saudi
Arabian businessmen as a trustee. He also admitted he used his name on
their investments and received, in return, a five- percent stake in their
business deals. One of those was Sheik Khalid bin Mahfouz, one of the
largest stockholders in the Bank of Credit and Commerce International.
BCCI was a corrupt global banking empire operating in 73 nations and
was a major financial and political force in Washington, Paris, Geneva,
London, and Hong Kong. Despite the appearance of a normal banking
operation, BCCI was actually an international crime syndicate providing
"banking services" to the Medellin drug cartel, Pamama dictator Manuel
Noriega, Saddam Hussein, terrorist mastermind Abu Nidal, and Khun Sa,
the heroin kingpin in Asia's Golden Triangle.

The BCCI scandal implicated some of the biggest political names in
Washington - both Democrats and Republicans - during the first Bush
White House. The bank was accused of laundering money for drug
cartels, smuggling weapons to terrorists, and using Middle Eastern oil
money to influence American politicians. There is more of this at

Disturbing as it is - it is worth knowing what's really going on here.

Ivo Skoric

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From: "Ivo Skoric"
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2001 17:11:14 -0400
Subject: Media Watch 3

So far the story about anti-war protest on Times Square on October
7 found its way in the following US media:
- NPR radio
- New York Times

There is an interesting detail in New York Times story - that about
the 50 people FOLLOWING the marchers with pro-war slogans -
I've seen nothing like that - there were people on the street vocally
disagreeing with marchers, but there was no anti-protest to my
best knowledge. Maybe NYT engaged in creative journalism here
making the story more fit to print.

Here is another under-reported story - that from the previous WTC
bombing in 1993 - FBI and CIA really need to pick their informants
better and don't make them unhappy afterwards...

It is a sad story that those who hate America so deeply have to
resort to American made graphic design for their marketing
campaigns - they hate modernity, as Ariah Neier wrote, but they
can't live without it - as this story shows:

Here is also a list of songs - not banned ones - but suggested to
cheer up Taliban, who otherwise ban ALL music:

Those looking for anti-Taliban volunteers should check this out:
Female Sniper Down on Her Luck
Galina Sinitsyna , a 40-year-old Russian sharpshooter,
lamented to The Moscow Times on 2 October that she is having a
hard time selling her services to the Russian military in Chechnya.
All she wants is to use her talent to kill rebels in Chechnya for
cash. "Where else can I earn enough to buy a new apartment for
us?" Sinitsyna asked. The distressed sniper said she has had an
offer to do a contract killing but turned it down. As for the Russian
military, so far it has repeatedly turned down her applications,
despite the fact that the practice of hiring contract soldiers to fight
in Chechnya is common. According to officers, however, Sinitsyna
is simply too old.

Or maybe there are more people like Tim McVeigh in the US?
Maybe some of them would be willing to drive a truck bomb into Al
Qaeda? That would for sure increase the symmetry in this warfare
and by default, then, decrease the probability of continuation, since
a sort of deterrence quality would be established. This, of course,
was not exactly a pacifist idea.

The most interesting story yesterday was the Bush's press
conference, the first in his term. He is such a terrible reader. The
speech-writers wrote an eloquent, although quite boring and
repetitive speech, and he made it unlistenable. By the end I gave
up, concluding that the speech was as irrelevant as the incessant
declarations of Holy War by Taliban are. Come up with something
NEW, please.

In the q.&a. session, however, Bush was quite likeable. At least,
people could wait until he says something stupid and laugh. And
as he relaxes more into answering questions, his answers start to
matter more. Ok, he, in a typical W. moment, said (about Osama):
"I don't know whether he is dead or alive but I know that we will
bring him to justice."

And if one takes into consideration that the two families (Bush and
Bin Laden) know each other for 25 years, had done business
together, and once shared similar political views (on Afghanistan,
at least), one may believe that he feels personally betrayed by Bin
Laden's renegade son. One can imagine Bush dragging Osama to
justice. And going with the lit torch from cave to cave in Hindu-
Kush mountain range to try to "smoke him out."

Bush also - answering the question about security concerns -
mentioned petro-chemical plants - with no allusion to Toulouse, of
course. Then, there was this relentless repeating of the words
'justice' and 'punishment' in his answers. That, coming from a
former governor of the state that administers more death penalties
than any other state in the union, sounds almost like he would like
to personally be involved with Osama's execution.

He made a good point about Osama as a man who hijacked a
country (Afghanistan) and a man who hijacked a religion (Islam).

In retrospect, it is indeed Bush's job to stop Osama - after all it is
his family drama (unfortunately playing near you worldwide and
mostly outside theaters). Is it possible that the U.S. did indeed get
quite annoyed with Osama following the embassy bombings and
the USS Cole attack and wanted to get him? Is it possible that the
$43 million that Bush administration gave to Taliban this May, was
an attempt to buy them into surrendering Bin Laden? After all,
most of observers of mujahedeen, suggest that pay-offs go a long
way in the local culture.

And is it possible that Osama, annoyed with Americans trying to
buy Taliban's compliance, "hijacked" the country, subjecting
Taliban to his control, while issuing a general threat to the U.S.
(where he said that there would be no more distinguishing between
civilians and combatants)? Is that why I observed such a
heightened police activity in New York this summer? They knew
that something is in the works - but they didn't know exactly what -
and certainly nobody expected what actually happened.

The day before the strike on WTC and Pentagon, Al Qaeda had
murdered the leader of Northern Alliance, decapitating opposition to
Taliban - but Northern Alliance continued to fight the Taliban, under
new leader, who is closer to Moscow, and with weapons freely
flowing from Russia. Therefore, it might be that OBL orchestrated
the killing of Massoud not only to please Taliban, but also hoping
to prevent the West from using Northern Alliance - he, perhaps,
speculated that Russia and America won't become such a good
friends so instantly after so many years of the cold war. Apparently
he miscalculated himself on that one. Perhaps, with Al Qaeda
bringing mayhem to so many places in the world, he lost track of
all of them, and forgot that nearly every country has some
grievances against him.

Now, another general warning is out. But it might be a bluff. Just
hoping to scare the US into abandoning the pursuit of Al Qaeda.
Instead the US decided to react even fiercer. Obviously, the cruise
missile attack must be a smoke-screen for possible special forces
operations on the ground which are not televised. But more
worrying is the need to establish tighter home security in order to
prevent expected Al Qaeda's retaliation.

So, barely created Homeland Security Office was already applying
for more power! Now, it is to be at the cabinet level. That's what in
Europe is 'Innenminister' or 'Minister of Interior' - there is a function
like this in the US, too, but it deals primarily with forests and
national parks - not with security. For me that was always an
interesting and highly pleasing peculiarity about US society, that it
can survive and function quite decently without the national police
minister. Not any longer, it seems.

The other obvious victim, and the theme of these messages, is the
press freedom. And since this is a global fight, the press freedom
may be endangered globally. Let's consider the case of Al Jazeera.
It is an independent satellite TV station in Qatar. Qatar is one of
the most reasonable countries in the region: the rulers there even
allowed women to vote in the last elections, meaning they also
introduced some rudimentary institutions of democracy like
elections and general suffrage. Al Jazeera is an embrionic piece of
independent electronic media in the Arab world. And that's why it
was chosen by Osama to air his hateful rhetoric.

Osama proves to be good at creating riddles. Powell and Rice are
probably right when they say that any his appearance on TV
increases the likelihood of continuation of terrorist attacks. So long
as he appears alive and well, disturbed people around the world
would feel that it is their time, that now it is possible to do things
like that. He doesn't have to do anything else any more, but raise
his index finger and call for more killing. So, it is unlikely, we'll see
more of him on American TV networks. But that's irrelevant - what
is really relevant is whether his statements would be broadcasted
on Al Jazeera.

The US can weigh on Qatar to put pressure on Al Jazeera - but
that would be a dangerous way to destroy emerging democracy in
Qatar - something clearly not in American interests. Osama
presented his enemy with a lose-lose choice.

In the event that Al Jazeera decides not to air Bin Laden without
outside pressure, they may estrange their viewers. Also, with no
reporting from Afghanistan it is going to be hard to know what is
going on there. For example - US networks get their info through
Pentagon - but Pentagon is not exactly a non-partisan source.
Right now Pentagon claims no civilian death in Afghanistan. On the
other hand Taliban speak of hundreds of civilian death - but they
also are not an independent source. And there is no independent
source - because foreign journalists are banned from Afghanistan.
All, except for Al Jazeera. That comes at the price: the Arab world
is repeatedly exposed to Osama's message of hate.

What would be a logical solution? Find an Arab Islamic leader who
commands as deep respect among the misguided Arab Islamic
fundamentalist youth as Osama does to tell them, at mortal risk,
that Osama is a Satanic blasphemy to Islam? But is there such a
leader in the corrupt world of Arab leaders? How much it would
cost to get Al Khamenei to issue a fatwah against Osama, and get
it on tape to Al Jazeera?


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From: "Ivo Skoric"
Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2001 14:44:39 -0400
Subject: Media Watch 4

Reuters now puts civilian death toll in Afghanistan at 76 and injured
at about 100. Mohamed Heikal, the former foreign minister of
Egypt, and former editor and chariman of Egyptian dail Al Ahram,
sees no logic in the attack on Afghanistan:
"I have seen Afghanistan, and there is not one target deserving
the $1m that a cruise missile costs, not even the royal palace. If I
took it at face value, I would think this is madness, so I assume
they have a plan and this is only the first stage."

He also questions whether Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaida
network were solely responsible for the September 11 attacks,
arguing that the limited evidence so far presented is far from
convincing. "Bin Laden does not have the capabilities for an
operation of this magnitude. When I hear Bush talking about al-
Qaida as if it was Nazi Germany or the communist party of the
Soviet Union, I laugh because I know what is there. Bin Laden has
been under surveillance for years: every telephone call was
monitored and al-Qaida has been penetrated by American
intelligence, Pakistani intelligence, Saudi intelligence,
Egyptian intelligence. They could not have kept secret an operation
that required such a degree of organisation and sophistication."

Indeed, it does make sense to believe that the US was preparing to
strike against Al Qaeda for some time - after all Al Qaeda has been
striking against the US for about 8 years so far, if not longer. If we
take into the account the $43 million bribe to Taliban this Spring
and the larger police presence in New York that I observed this
Summer, it is conceivable that both sides were preparing the strike
at the same time.

The U.S., however, for political considerations, could not strike
without a pretext. So, they had to wait for Al Qaeda to strike first.
Still, it is improbable that the US government would allow
destruction of WTC to provide for the reason to strike against Al
Qaeda and its host country (Afghanistan). This is highly
uneconomical proposition: the costs highly outweigh the benefits.
They probably expected a truck bomb type of attack - not
something of this scale in human atrocities and economic damage.
The fourth plane would not be allowed to hit anything (even if the
passengers did not manage to wrestle down attackers), because F-
16s were already over DC waiting for it. Plus, there is no
guarantees that September 11 attack would not happen even if the
US stroke Afghanistan during the summer - and US would be
without global support for its action in that case.

As Bush was speaking to the youth, looking like he is slowly
waking up from a rather bad nightmare, and hoping that when he
opens his eyes the "evil one" would be gone, yesterday, the
anthrax scare came to New York city. It came, conveniently, after
it was officially admited that the 3 cases of it in Florida *were* the
enemy act. Just as in Florida, here in New York anthrax bacterium
happened to be found among journalists - not among farm workers
or wool sorters - where it is more commonly found under
circumstances without terrorist intervention. Here, it happened at
NBC. And suspicious, but later declared clean, packages were
received by CBS and New York Times as well. Anthrax targets
media. The objective is to hit the media with the anthrax scare, so
journalists become scared of their own offices.

This is a pre-emptive strike. It is as if Al Qaeda anticipated the next
move of the US government - that would at this point try everything
to keep Al Qaeda's side of the story out of media. The US would
like to paint Osama to look like a loser, hoping that this is how he
shall lose. But, even if we never see or hear anything from him, with
anthrax repeatedly being discovered in buildings of the U.S. news
media, Osama will make sure to stay in the news as a winner -
keeping his enemy on tippy-toes and guessing about his new move.

Here are some useful sites on anthrax baccilum:

The cure for anthrax - antibiotic Ciprofloxacin - has to be
administered in early stages of the disease, practically before the
symptoms occur - otherwise the fatality rate is about 90% - that's
what makes it such a good bio-terrorist weapon. Unfortunately, for
the terrorists, the disease is not highly contagious (nothing like
smallpox or plague or ebola for example), and both the cure and
the vaccine exist. However, there is not enough of vaccine available
and Cipro has side-effects: insomnia, diarrhea and rashes.

The anthrax spores are actually a good analogy for Al Qaeda
terrorist cells - they work on the same principles. The 'societal
Cipro' of course also has nasty side effects - certain loss of
freedoms, militarization of society, general insomnia of population
and general logorrhea of political leaders. And it also works best
only if administered before symptoms occur. For example, if Bush
tried to create the office of Homeland Security before September
11, i.e. at the time the government started to expect the onset of
'the terrorist disease', the towers might still stand out there, but we
would all passionately hate Bush by now, people on streets in New
York would walk with his pictures in Nazi uniform and his approval
rating would (at best) be a half of what it is now.

Here is the recent Chinese Civil Aviation Association memo - a vivid
example of advantages that a totalitarian state posses in fighting
"The Chinese memo said tickets should not be issued to holders
of the following passports: Afghanistan, Israel, Egypt,
Syria,Jordan, Lebanon, Iran, Iraq, United Arab Emirates, Oman,
Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Kuwait, Sudan,
Libya,Algeria and Pakistan. Holders of Palestinian passports
were also barred. "

Of course, none of us would want the US to do the same. My
impression Osama is a rich, intelligent, spoiled kid. He is used to
be able to control the situation. He plans well in advance and
thinks about his opponent moves and about ways how to block
them. This is fun for him. He, perhaps, may be defeated only by a
move that he could not possibly envision the U.S. could make.
Something that runs completely astray of the rules, guidelines and

Fatwahs against Osama:
You are asking "How much it would cost to get Al Khamenei to
issue a fatwah against Osama?
May be an easy answer is to let Iranian pistachios come freely to
the US market , without added taxes as is today the case. I mean
that offering opening for business, especially small enterprise, will
'pull the rug" (if i may use the expression) under Bin Laden.

For existing anti-Osama fatwas, check out:
A leading Muslim scholar, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, issued a
fatwa - which is an opinion of an Islamic scholar, based
on Islamic law - immediately after the attacks, saying
Osama Bin Laden could not call himself a Muslim.

Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi is an Egyptian-born cleric living in Qatar
and a leader of the Muslim Brotherhood. He has a broad following
throughout the Muslim world, particularly among the militant youth.
Qaradawi's fatwa condemning Bin Laden as "not a Muslim" and
the WTC attacks as a violation of Islamic law, was broadcast on Al
Jazeera TV. Curious we didn't see it on the US networks ... US
networks act even less inspiring than the US government. Very self-


Prosecuting Osama:
VIENNA, Friday -- The Hague Tribunal Prosecutor said this
morning that she has proof that the Taleban and Osama Bin
Laden's terrorist organisation Al-Qaida are active in Bosnia-
Herzegovina. Carla Del Ponte told Austria daily Die Presse that
proof of this had been established in the course of tribunal
The tribunal is at present attempting to establish whether Bin
Laden's terrorists had been smuggled into Macedonia in order to
destabilise the situation in the country.
Del Ponte added that the tribunal could indict Bin Laden if it could
obtain a mandate for this from the United Nations.
(comment) --> We know that Del Ponte loves to prosecute. But
doesn't she already have a backlog of cases? Besides, I don't think
that THe Hague should broaden its mandate. I do think, though,
that Osama should be tried in international court (if possible) and I
would like to see UN establish such a tribunal for global terrorism
at the most appropriate place - in NY city where the largest act of
global terrorism was committed; besides, that's the only way we'll
get rid off Giuliani as a mayor - to let him prosecute Bin Laden.

Ivo Skoric

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 Topic 44 of 96 [news]: Media coverage of WTC attack and the aftermath
 Response 17 of 27: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Tue, Oct 16, 2001 (23:11) * 25 lines,1361,574918,00.html

Particularly the stuff about Saudi Arabia, the country whose dictatorship
we've propped up for decades:

""It's unbelievable how the feeling here has changed from sympathy to anger
in such a short time," a Riyadh-based westerner quoted by Reuters said
yesterday. Another resident compared the mood there to that of Iran before
the overthrow of the Shah."

"US feeling was expressed in a powerful editorial in
Sunday's New York Times, which described Saudi behaviour as "malignant"
and said the "deeply cynical" bargain between the countries, which for
decades had offered American protection for the regime in return for an
uninterrupted flow of oil, was now "untenable".

"David Wurmser, director of Middle East studies at the American Enterprise
Institute in Washington, said yesterday: "The US's entire foreign policy
structure in the region has been anchored in the strategic relationship with
Saudi Arabia. If everything we're hearing is true, then we're facing a total

""The whole war as currently conceived would have to be reconsidered, because
Pakistan won't hold if Saudi support starts collapsing.""

 Topic 44 of 96 [news]: Media coverage of WTC attack and the aftermath
 Response 18 of 27: suzee   (suzee202000) * Mon, Oct 22, 2001 (00:51) * 38 lines 
Mess.#8 (Terry):
Ventura fears he, Mall and Dome are terrorist targetsBY JIM RAGSDALE Pioneer Press Gov. Jesse Ventura said Wednesday the decision to withhold informationabout his public schedule from the media is due to a concern that he couldbe a target of terrorism.

A humorous viewpoint (NY Times):

October 19, 2001

A Governor Works in Mysterious Ways

ST. PAUL -- Here in Minnesota, our governor has gone under cover, so far as we can figure out. The governor — who I will refer to as Larry so as to throw terrorists off the trail — had a fit in New York recently when he flew there for a photo op at Ground Zero, a trip paid for by ABC-TV, which then got exclusive rights to film the governor's grief and concern. When a few Minnesota reporters questioned him on these arrangements, Larry said he would never speak to any of them ever again. Later, he amended this to say that he would speak to some of them but never with tape recorders present.

Then Larry announced that his schedule of public appearances would be kept secret because he — along with the Mall of America and the Humphrey Metrodome and perhaps the statue of Paul Bunyan in Bemidji and the famous Lift Bridge in Duluth — might be high on the terrorists' list of targets.

Now he has amended that to say that his press secretary will inform some of the press of what the governor is doing, but this information cannot be disseminated to the general public. The governor thus achieves four public announcements in less than a week without ever having actually done something.

The stealth governor is an innovation in politics, and Larry is the one who can make it work. He was elected to the post, after a career as a pro rassler, because he spoke plainly and plenty of people are tired of the political boilerplate. His slogan was "Retaliate in '98," which seemed to promise something new. Since his election, however, he has taken a sharp right turn away from all that and become a pretty good, quiet caretaker governor. At hands-off governance, Larry is as capable as you or I.

The problem with being a caretaker is that you have very little to show for it, no large ideas to proclaim, no triumphs to celebrate, no ribbons to cut. You're just a guy sitting in a boat in calm water and not tipping it over. After a while, people's attention wanders.

Disappearance is a great way to attract attention, to become the Garbo of governors, the Pynchon politician.

It is no great thing to stand in the governor's reception room at the state Capitol and shake hands with a delegation of 4-H'ers from Kandiyohi County. It raises the occasion to a heroic level to welcome them secretly, with the governor surrounded by highway patrolmen ready to search the 4-H'ers for pitchforks. Thus does a Midwestern governor of modest talent become part of America's war against terrorism.

Before Larry, governors of Minnesota didn't bother with security. They traveled around in a midsize car, accompanied by some young staff person to spare the Honorable the embarrassment of having to drive around and around looking for a parking space. A governor used to be a guy you'd see at University of Minnesota basketball games and walk up and say "hi" to at halftime.

When Larry ascended into office, he demanded a security detail, with round-the-clock service. And now he has introduced the idea of semi-secret public appearances. Occasionally he may show up somewhere, but suddenly, like the Masked Man of the Plains.

The logical next step for him is to leave town for the duration of the war and not tell anybody. Perhaps he already has. Perhaps Larry even now is hunkered deep in a Minuteman silo in North Dakota, sitting at a control console in front of an electronic map of all 87 counties of Minnesota, running state government via a secure telephone, secret couriers disguised as seed salesmen bringing him state papers concealed in burlap bags. We do not know.

While he's there, he could let his hair grow back and lose a few pounds so as to lessen his visibility and be able to return home for the holidays. I wish I knew where he is so I could tell him.

Garrison Keillor is host of "Prairie Home Companion" and author, most recently, of "Lake Wobegon Summer 1956."

 Topic 44 of 96 [news]: Media coverage of WTC attack and the aftermath
 Response 19 of 27: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Thu, Nov 15, 2001 (07:15) * 3 lines 
U.S. Bombs Hit Kabul TV Station

 Topic 44 of 96 [news]: Media coverage of WTC attack and the aftermath
 Response 20 of 27: suzee   (suzee202000) * Sat, Dec 29, 2001 (14:20) * 64 lines

Asleep at the switch
Journalism’s failure to track Osama bin Laden

It has become fashionable in the weeks since Sept. 11 (“Nine-Eleven” in the clipped cadences of cable news-speak) to discuss the monstrous failure of U.S. intelligence that led, in part, to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The phrase “asleep at the switch” has become a mantra used to describe the inability of the FBI, the CIA, and the Department of Defense to catch Osama bin Laden before his Al Qaeda organization perpetrated their deadly deeds.

But consider this: On June 23, the Reuters news agency distributed a report headlined “Bin Laden Fighters Plan anti-US attack.” The lead: “Followers of exiled Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden are planning a major attack on U.S. and Israeli interests.”

Two days later, it was United Press International’s turn to spread the alarming news. In a dispatch dated June 25, the agency informed its subscribers that “Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden is planning a terrorist attack against the United States.” The following day, another UPI report (“Bin Laden Forms New Jihadi Group”) described the formalization of ties between bin Laden’s Al Qaeda and the Egyptian branch of Islamic Jihad.

Unless you’re a maven of the Reuters and UPI wire feeds, the chances are that you didn’t see any of those reports. A search of the country’s major newspaper and broadcast network Web sites reveals that barely any considered the stories worthy of publication.

That’s hardly surprising. At the time, the news industry was gorging itself on the disappearance of Washington intern Chandra Levy, the alleged drinking habits of Presidential daughter Jenna Bush and the latest 100-point drop by the Dow. Let the record show that, in the context of the U.S. media before Sept. 11, news of bin Laden’s plans to launch an attack against American citizens didn’t even make it into “News in Brief.”

When the history of U.S. journalism at the turn of the century is written, it is to be hoped that the summer of 2001 will be noted as the profession’s historic low point. Ten years after the fall of the Soviet Union, news coverage of events overseas had dwindled to a point where the world’s leading terrorist mastermind didn’t warrant a mention on the nightly news – even when he was directly threatening American citizens.

For the best part of a decade, the country’s broadcast networks in particular sought to marginalize international news. NBC, CBS and ABC closed costly overseas bureaus, fired staff specializing in global affairs and eagerly embraced a domestically focused news agenda.

They justified their actions by opportunistically blaming the American public for a lack of interest in global affairs. In April 1997, CBS News President Andrew Heyward told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that “it’s just a fact of television ratings life that almost without exception it’s very difficult to score a number with international news.” NBC News Vice President Bill Wheatley told the same newspaper that “a lot of foreign news after the Cold War seemed to be less vital ... more complicated, less directly linked to many Americans. How do you cover the former Soviet Union and make sense of it?”

Today, of course, the networks’ infatuation with domestic news has come to a screeching halt. Suddenly, “Osama bin Laden” doesn’t seem such a hard name to pronounce, “Al Qaeda” no longer appears to be an alien concept, and the networks have found a way of covering Afghanistan.

And yet, the manner in which many of them have chosen to cover this epoch-changing story reflects the deep crisis provoked by the cutbacks they made in their global resources over the past decade. The first war to be covered by three competing, round-the-clock news networks is being reported by correspondents who – for the most part – are inarticulate in the language of international affairs and global diplomacy.

Consider the output of MSNBC, the 24-hour news channel operated by NBC News. Since Sept. 11, the network’s Ashleigh Banfield has come to define the new style of global crisis coverage. At 33, the former local news anchor from Dallas is the rising star of network news, charged with helping her network reach increasing numbers of younger viewers. Her first act upon arriving in Islamabad was to change her hair color from blonde to brown, then purchase a seemingly endless supply of Pakistani scarves and robes.

She told The New York Times that she’d done this to remain “under the radar” in Pakistan and proceeded to file a large number of reports in which bemused citizens of Islamabad watched Banfield – very much “above the radar” at this point – touring their city with a camera team in tow. “These people are very poor” she informed viewers in hushed tones during one report, gesticulating at a group of Pakistani homeless behind her.

MSNBC has never satisfactorily explained why Banfield dyed her hair to stay “under the radar.” Reporters Amy Kellogg with Fox and Hillary Brown of ABC both appeared to feel perfectly secure keeping their blonde locks and western clothing. Short of uttering the colonial-era phrase “the natives are friendly,” Banfield could not have done much more to patronize both her Pakistani hosts and her audience.

Patronizing the audience is rapidly becoming the ‘modus vivendi’ for America’s broadcast networks. Experienced anchors like CNN’s Judy Woodruff are ordered to “loosen up” by bosses who – just days before Sept. 11 – chose to relaunch CNN Headline News as a network focusing on “lifestyle and entertainment news.” Some of the nation’s finest broadcast writers – Tom Aspell of NBC, Jim Wooten of ABC, Alan Pizzey of CBS – find themselves losing the battle for network airtime as a new breed of young correspondents, recruited directly from the country’s local news outlets, rise to the fore.

Youth is “in.” Experience is “out.” For a generation of war correspondents who learned their craft in Korea, Vietnam, Biafra, Latin America and the Gulf, the Bush administration’s “war on terror” represents one final, fleeting day in the sun. The future belongs to the raw talents who are encouraged – in some cases even instructed – to cover war as if it’s a travelogue.

It is not their fault that they lack the gravitas to report the subtleties of global events. Reporters who spend 24 hours a day living and breathing the Chandra Levy story cannot also stay abreast of the geopolitical circumstances in Central Asia. Besides, even in the face of the most compelling global news story of our time, the U.S. networks have continued to maintain a policy of limiting the information they present to their viewers.

For example, in mounting its war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda, the Bush administration successfully won permission to station U.S. forces on air bases in the former Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan is today ruled by a deeply repressive, neo-Stalinist regime, and yet viewers have been offered virtually no coverage of that nation’s appalling record on human rights and open society reform.

Similarly, the Bush administration’s new, positive relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin has been held up to very little critical examination, despite the Russian leader’s questionable commitment to democracy and his vow to introduce a “dictatorship of law” in Russia.

These stories and others have found no time on America’s broadcast and cable networks, despite being compelling matters of global import. After a while, a network that can’t figure out how to “make sense” of the former Soviet Union doesn’t even bother to try.

There have been some notable exceptions. ABC’s David Wright, CNN’s Matthew Chance and Nic Robertson are three correspondents whose work has shone brightly since the conflict began. Each of them has brought erudite maturity to their reporting, calmly and skillfully explaining the events that they’ve witnessed. ABC’s John Miller has continued to win deserved plaudits as the one network correspondent who has consistently and doggedly tracked bin Laden’s footsteps.

Public television has relied heavily on the global resources of Independent Television News (ITN) of London. But in London, too, overseas news coverage is under threat. On Nov. 22, at the very moment battles were raging for control of Jalalabad and Kunduz, Steve Anderson, the head of news for Britain’s independent television network, opined that “the jury is still out on this question [of whether viewers want more foreign news]. I don’t detect a notable clamor in the British audience to find out what’s happening in Sri Lanka.”

At a time when the public is more eager for information about global affairs than it has been since the end of the Cold War, the nation’s broadcast networks have never been less prepared to answer the call.

It cannot be known whether widespread reporting of bin Laden’s June 25 threat against U.S. interests might have prompted alert citizens to question the activities of the 19 hijackers plotting the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. It cannot be known whether greater public scrutiny of Al Qaeda might have led to demands within the U.S. government for more intelligence information. It can, however, be stated with certainty that in the months leading up to Sept. 11, U.S. media organizations were simply disinterested in telling their readers, viewers and listeners about the activities of bin Laden and his followers.

Many lessons can be learned from this historic abnegation of journalistic responsibility.

One can only hope that the networks and their corporate owners will now continue to embrace a global news agenda. But don’t be surprised if they seize the earliest possible opportunity to turn away from the world and bring us instead unrelenting coverage of Congressman Gary Condit’s re-election campaign.

Simon Marks is president and chief correspondent of Feature Story News, an independent broadcast news agency. He’s spent much of the past decade covering the former Soviet Union for “The News Hour with Jim Lehrer” and various public radio programs, and he hopes he’s made sense of it.

 Topic 44 of 96 [news]: Media coverage of WTC attack and the aftermath
 Response 21 of 27: suzee   (suzee202000) * Sat, Dec 29, 2001 (14:26) * 53 lines

Columbia Journalism Review



How a Report on Terrorism Flew Under the Radar


We were warned. Some of the best minds in the United States attempted to alert the nation that, without a new emphasis on homeland security and attention to terrorism, "Americans will likely die on American soil, possibly in large numbers" as the result of terrorist attacks.

The first warning came in September 1999, when former Senators Gary Hart and Warren Rudman, co-chairs, used those words in the first of three documents from an entity called the United States Commission on National Security, created during a rare moment of agreement between President Clinton and House speaker Newt Gingrich.

Then, seven months before the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the commission re-emphasized its warning, this time with a detailed agenda for action to make America safer from terrorism. The report was scary but it was also constructive and authoritative. And it is fair to say that most Americans never heard of it until after the attacks.

What happened?

On January 31, Hart and Rudman looked with satisfaction on the television cameras and print reporters assembled in the Mansfield Room of the United States Senate. They were there to present the commission's final report of 150 pages. It was called Road Map for National Security: Imperative for Change, and was signed by their twelve fellow commissioners, who represented the kind of blue-ribbon braintrust Washington is so good at putting together (see box). Over a three-year period, the wise men had visited twenty-five countries and consulted more than a hundred experts. Hart and Rudman had as their executive director the one-time fighter pilot, Charles (Chuck) Boyd, the only graduate of the Hanoi Hilton to make four-star general. They and their staffs went to great lengths to alert the press in advance to the gravity of the commissioners' findings.

"Hell," says Rudman, "it was the first comprehensive rethinking of national security since Harry Truman in 1947." The conclusions were startling: "States, terrorists, and other disaffected groups will acquire weapons of mass destruction, and some will use them. Americans will likely die on American soil, possibly in large numbers." The commission also explored many of the underlying factors. Hart told me: "We got a terrific sense of the resentment building against the U.S. as a bully, which alarmed us."

The report was a devastating indictment of the "fragmented and inadequate" structures and strategies already in place to prevent, and then respond to, the attacks on U.S. cities, which the commissioners predicted. Hart specifically mentioned the lack of preparation for "a weapon of mass destruction in a high-rise building." But the report was not simply alarmist. It was unusually constructive, avoiding grandiose language for a step-by-step blueprint of what urgently needed to be done to create a National Homeland Security Agency, revive the frontline public services, and pull together the forty discrete official bodies with responsibility for national security.

"We need orders-of-magnitude improvements in planning, coordination, and exercise," the report concluded. "Any reorganization must be mindful of the scale of the scenarios we envisage and the enormity of their consequences." They urged that, since our borders are so porous, the uniformed services of the Customs Service, the Border Patrol, and the Coast Guard should report to a new National Homeland Security Agency; that homeland security should become a priority mission for the National Guard; that human intelligence sources on terrorism should be recruited as a priority. The writers also had a broad vision: "A world amenable to American interests and values will not come into being by itself. Much of the world will resent and oppose us, if not for the simple fact of our preeminence, then for the fact that others often perceive the United States as exercising its power with arrogance and self-absorption." A number of the commissioners visited the editorial boards of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journ
l, and The Washington Post before they released their report. They brought with them a press kit containing a crisp executive summary of the report.

Press conferences and private briefings were all to little avail.

Network television news ignored the report; so did the serious evening news on public television. Only CNN did it justice with a full discussion. The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal did not carry a line, either of the report or the press conference. Boyd told me: "I won't ever forget that day in Senate Room 207." He watched in disbelief as the Times reporter left before the presentation was over, saying it was not much of a story. Coverage was excellent in The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times, with a smattering of good stories in USA Today, and the smaller and regional newspapers using AP and Reuters. But what most astonished and then outraged the commissioners was that none of the major newspapers, except the Los Angeles Times briefly, offered any kind of follow-up or critical analysis in editorials or op-ed pieces. Nowhere did Hart-Rudman get the kind of discussion and amplification of the sort that tends to prompt the political machinery to operate. In short, the report passed under the r

The Hart-Rudman report is the kind that required elite opinion to engage in a sustained dialogue to probe, improve, explain, and then press for action. None of the network talk shows took it up. But the commissioners were particularly bewildered by the blackout at the The New York Times; they pitched an op-ed article signed by Hart and Rudman in the hope that it would induce the Times to take a proper look at the commission's work. The article was rejected.
Newspapers, by their nature, are bound to miss stories from time to time; a good newspaper will then follow up, trying to recover. There was no attempt to repair the omission in the Times or the Journal. The performance of the Times, the country's leading newspaper, is curious since it has distinguished itself over the years by giving prominence to Saddam Hussein's mischiefs, and to notable front-page reports by Judith Miller, William Broad, and Stephen Engelberg on the threats of bioterrorism. Its editorials on state-sponsored terrorism have been robust. Inquiries to the Times failed to elicit a response.

The commissioners are variously "dumbfounded" (Hart), "surprised" (Schlesinger), "stunned" (Gelb), "appalled" (Rudman). "The New York Times," says the agreeably forthright Rudman, "deserves its ass kicked." Gingrich is more rueful: "I was very saddened. I don't expect the networks, people who cover daily events, to be interested. But I thought, in particular, for The New York Times and The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal not to give it really serious coverage was a significant failure in providing educated citizens with an important report. And frankly, other than [creating an office of] Homeland Security they still haven't gone back and contemplated the scale of change we're describing."

None of the commissioners suggests that headlines or informed comment about their report would have forestalled September 11. But national planning could have been six months ahead, sparing us much of the public health chaos over anthrax. If Hart-Rudman had got the national attention it deserved, the administration almost surely would have moved sooner. There is a keen sense of frustration among the fourteen commissioners that the marriage of two inertias -- one in the serious press, the other in the administration -- delayed the taking of action. "We lost momentum," says Rudman.

Actually, Hart-Rudman did gain impressive backing in Congress from the top Republican members of the national security set, at a time when they controlled the Senate, and vigorous support from Donald Rumsfeld at Defense. Hearings were scheduled for the week of May 7. But the White House stymied the move. It did not want Congress out front on the issue, not least with a report originated by a Democratic president and an ousted Republican speaker. On May 5, the administration announced that, rather than adopting Hart-Rudman, it was forming its own committee headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, who was expected to report in October. "The administration actually slowed down response to Hart-Rudman when momentum was building in the spring," says Gingrich.

Senator Hart visited the White House in an effort to get the administration to move faster. He met National Security adviser Condoleezza Rice on September 6, just five days before the terrorist attacks. She would, she said, "pass on" his concerns. After September 11, President Bush took a leaf from the commission's report in his appointment of Governor Ridge to head Homeland Security. But Ridge's powers are too limited to meet the commission's concept of the job. By some estimates, it will take two years to fuse the federal hermetic structures, leaving America terribly vulnerable in the meantime.

The failure of the most respected, agenda-setting editorial and news pages to acknowledge such informed analyses of the complex, essentially life-and-death issues of national security, is puzzling. The New York Times on October 9 even had the nerve to report: "Tom Ridge was sworn in today as the first director of homeland security, a position the country's leaders never felt was needed before September 11 . . ." (emphasis added). Finger pointing is uncomfortable in the light of the unique malevolence of the atrocity of September 11. But the print and electronic press, which have legitimately been criticizing gaps in the U.S. intelligence system, have so far failed to point the finger at themselves.

Harold Evans was editor of The Sunday Times of London for fourteen years, 1967-1981, and editor of The Times, 1981-1982. He was president of Random House, 1990-1997, and editorial director and vice chairman of the Daily News, U.S. News & World Report, and Atlantic Monthly, 1997-2000. He is the author of The American Century.

 Topic 44 of 96 [news]: Media coverage of WTC attack and the aftermath
 Response 22 of 27: Marcia  (MarciaH) * Sat, Dec 29, 2001 (21:36) * 1 lines 
Great articles, Suzee! Thanks

 Topic 44 of 96 [news]: Media coverage of WTC attack and the aftermath
 Response 23 of 27: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Sun, Dec 30, 2001 (04:41) * 13 lines 
Geraldo Rivera is offering to resign from Fox News.

If, that is, a panel of media analysts decides he did anything unethical in Afghanistan. Which, he insists, is ridiculous.

Rivera acknowledges that he made an "honest mistake" by saying he was at a "friendly fire" incident in which three American soldiers were killed in a U.S. bombing raid. He was hundreds of miles away, near what he maintains was a second such incident in which two or three Afghan opposition fighters were killed.

Rivera denounces the Baltimore Sun television writer who reported the mistake, saying: "The whole basic premise that I lied or was dishonest is absurd on its face, and were it any other reporter, would not even pass the laugh test. This is the most false, hideously absurd allegation I've ever had leveled against me."


 Topic 44 of 96 [news]: Media coverage of WTC attack and the aftermath
 Response 24 of 27: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Fri, Jan  4, 2002 (15:48) * 53 lines 
Hiding, on the Run, or Dead: 'No Comment'

By Al Kamen

Friday, January 4, 2002; Page A25

And now, a new phrase government spokesmen have developed to replace the
discredited and clearly inferior Nixon-era term "inoperative."

The new term is "not particularly useful." It was employed to great effect
Wednesday by Pentagon public affairs chief Victoria Clarke to stifle
questions about alleged dezinformatzia by Pentagon folks.

Best we can tell, reporters asked Adm. Craig Quigley on Monday about Marines
boarding helicopters and leaving Kandahar to go after Mullah Omar. There
were even pictures and witnesses of U.S. troop movements. But Quigley was
quoted as saying: "There were no Marines in [helicopters]. No Marines left
Kandahar today."

Well, it's unclear, but it may be that the first batch that left Kandahar in
the choppers were Army Special Forces types, not Marines. And it turns out
that, when he was asked, Quigley didn't know the Marines were getting ready
to launch.

But at Wednesday's briefing, Fox-TV's David Shuster asked Clarke: "Was
Admiral Quigley misinformed? Was he lied to? And how do you explain all of

No problem. "You know," Clarke said, "I don't think it's particularly useful
to go over everything over the last couple of days." She then moved quickly
to discuss freezing terrorists' assets and humanitarian relief.

This is most excellent. First, unlike "inoperative," which evokes an earlier
miscue, "not particularly useful" addresses only the question. Also, it has
the virtue of burden-shifting, putting the onus on the questioner for asking
for useless information -- as determined by the government.

You can even try this at home: "Now, honey, I don't think it's particularly
useful to ask me where I was last night." Or maybe on the road: "Well,
officer, I don't think it's particularly useful to ask me about my drinking

Yesterday, Shuster tried again, but Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld,
staying on offense, told reporters it would be "improper" to suggest the
confusion surrounding the deployments was intentional. Quite so. The
government would never try to confuse the press.

As Groucho said: "Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?"

 Topic 44 of 96 [news]: Media coverage of WTC attack and the aftermath
 Response 25 of 27: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Wed, Jan  9, 2002 (14:38) * 18 lines 
Meanwhile, in Hollywood:

TV Starts Scripting Sept. 11

The first steps to dramatize the events of Sept. 11 as TV
movies have begun, with CBS planning a project that would
document in real time behind-the-scenes developments on the
ground that paralleled the flight of United Airlines Flight
93--the plane that crashed in rural Pennsylvania.


At least two other TV movie projects based on the Sept. 11 attacks
are in development...,1419,L-LATimes-TV-X!ArticleDetail-49683,00.html

 Topic 44 of 96 [news]: Media coverage of WTC attack and the aftermath
 Response 26 of 27: Wolf  (wolf) * Wed, Jan  9, 2002 (18:42) * 1 lines 
that is not right. if they canx tv shows that even suggested terror and aircraft and twin towers, why on earth would they rehash the whole thing in the movies.

 Topic 44 of 96 [news]: Media coverage of WTC attack and the aftermath
 Response 27 of 27: Paul Terry Walhus (terry) * Sun, Jul 21, 2002 (12:53) * 5 lines

Another American Taliban. Landed carrying $12 million on bad checks.

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