Published on Global Research.ca, by Prof. James F. Tracy, August 10, 2012.
The news media’s readiness to accept official pronouncements and failure to more vigorously analyze and question government authorities in the wake of “domestic terrorist” incidents contributes to the American public’s already acute case of collective historical amnesia, while it further rationalizes the twenty-first century police state and continued demise of civil society.
Some may recall “Bugs Raplin” (Giancarlo Esposito), the resolute investigative journalist depicted in Tim Robbins’ 1992 political mockumentary Bob Roberts. After being framed as the culprit in a false flag assassination attempt by corrupt political huckster Bob Roberts (Robbins), Raplin delivers a perceptive soliloquy that among other things effectively describes the American public’s moribund civic condition and short-circuited democracy. The reason Iran-Contra happened, Raplin begins,
is because no one did anything substantial about Watergate. And the reason Watergate happened is because there were no consequences from the Bay of Pigs. They’re all the same operatives—the foot soldiers at the Bay of Pigs, the plumbers that got busted at Watergate, the gunrunners in Iran-Contra—all the same people, same faces. Now it doesn’t take a genius to figure out the connection here: A secret government beyond the control of the people and accountable to no one. And the closer we are to discovering the connection, the more Congress turns a blind eye to it. “We can’t talk about that in open session,” they say. “National security reasons.” The truth lies dormant in their laps and they stay blind out of choice. A conspiracy of silence … //
A Plausible Narrative / Conclusion:
Gladio’s successful concealment for so many years demonstrates how mass atrocities can be carried out by a shadow network with complete impunity. Most incidents from the Gladio period remain unsolved by authorities. In the US, however, a plausible narrative appears to be required for public consumption. For example, just a few hours after the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) officials swept in and wrested the case from Oak Creek authorities by classifying it as an act of “domestic terrorism.”. Less than twenty four hours later one of the federal government’s foremost de facto propaganda and intelligence-gathering arms—the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)—developed a storyline that was unquestioningly lapped up by major news media.
In an August 6 Democracy Now interview with SPLC spokesman Mark Potok and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Don Walker, Potok explained in unusual detail how the alleged killer was involved in “white supremacist groups,” “Nazi skinhead rock bands,” and that the SPLC had been “tracking” the groups he was in since 2000. Potok’s remarks, which dominate the exchange and steer clear of the suspect’s experience in psychological operations, contrasted sharply with Walker’s, who more cautiously pointed out that the suspect’s “work in [US Army] PsyOps is still a bit of a mystery to all of us … We talked to a psychiatrist who said that [being promoted to PsyOps is] like going from the lobby to the 20th floor very quickly.”
Like the Aurora Colorado storyline of a crazed shooter who expertly booby-trapped his apartment with exotic explosives, such appealingly sensationalistic narratives serve to sideline the countervailing testimonies of eyewitnesses and are difficult to contest or dislodge once they are driven home by would-be experts through almost every major news outlet.
A similar scenario played out in the wake of the Oklahoma City federal building bombing when the ATF, FBI and SPLC together constructed the dominant frame of Timothy McVeigh as the lone bomber, an account that likewise diverged with the local authorities’ initial findings, early news reports of unexploded ordinance and a mysterious accomplice of McVeigh, and the overall conclusions of the Oklahoma City Bombing Investigation Committee’s Final Report. The narrative nevertheless served to maintain the political status quo while securing the Clinton administration’s second term in office. To this day most Americans believe McVeigh was solely responsible for the bombing despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
For its time Raplin’s prognosis was an accurate description of America’s cascading socio-political nightmare. Elected officials abdicate their responsibility of oversight for personal gain and thus perpetuate “a conspiracy of silence.” Yet over the past two decades, the quickening pace of “terrorist” events suggests how shadow networks have grown in boldness and strength, while each attack has contributed to the steady erosion of civil society and constitutional rights.
With this in mind both the mainstream and “alternative” news media, through their overt censorial practices, their consistent failure to place events in meaningful historical contexts, and their overall deliberate obeisance to dubious and unaccountable authorities, compound this conspiracy by ensnaring the public in questionable realities from which it cannot readily escape. (full text and Notes 1 to 11).
- (James F. Tracy is Associate Professor of Media Studies at Florida Atlantic University. Additional information is available at his blog, Memory Gap.org.
- Oklahoma City bombing on en.wikipedia and on its many External links;
- Articles on Global Research.ca).
The Technocratization of Public Education, Subverting educational practices, on Global Research.ca, by Prof. James F. Tracy, June 14, 2012;
A closer look at good jobs by education level in the United States (4 graphs), on RWER Blog, by John Schmitt, August 11, 2012.