by Gary North
Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is used to justify the drugging of millions of young children in America's public schools. But where did this affliction come from? Why has it become an epidemic in the public schools since about 1980?
A recent medical report says that too much television viewed from ages 1 to 3 help to create this affliction. Children's TV shows keep switching images every few seconds. This supposedly undermines children's attention spans.
My view is this aspect of commercial television is a permanent feature. Attention Deficit Disorder is television's gift to adults, too. We all suffer from it.
CLARKE VS. RICE
Consider the Clarke-Rice debate over what the President knew before 9/11. It has degenerated into "he said, she said." Prior to Clarke's revelation on 60 Minutes, I never heard the media refer to Condoleezza Rice as "Dr. Rice." (She earned a Ph.D. at the obscure University of Denver, which immediately qualified her for a professorship at Stanford. Warning: anyone out there who says "quota two-fer" — female and black — is a racist male chauvinist pig, which is why nobody mentions it.) As soon as Clarke had testified, it was "Dr. Rice."
The media were ready to make a catfight out of it. There is nothing like a good fight to raise ratings for TV news shows — not that TV news shows have high ratings. A fight makes TV news look more like "reality TV," which does have high ratings. My view is that both forms of entertainment are equally realistic. Both are modeled on early American TV's original audience-grabber: wrestling.
For the moment, the suppressed memo that warned the President about Osama bin Laden is in the news. Under intense pressure, the White House released the memo. It had taken two years to get the White House to turn the memo over to Congress. Now the pundits are all a-dither. Is this the smoking gun or isn't it?
I don't think the American news media could spot a smoking gun on the living room table, even if the victim's body is lying facedown on the carpet in front of the table.
NETWORK NEWS AND ALZHEIMER'S DISEASE
When it comes to TV news, it's mostly Alzheimer's. Consider this possibility. If you were kidnapped by a terrorist group, and your only chance of going free is your ability to outline the reasons why the United States invaded Kosovo, would you survive?
It is all so vague now. That's because it was all so vague then. There were Muslims and Kosovo Serbs. But weren't there Albanians, too? And what about the Croats? Didn't Croats invade? But which country did they invade? Milosevic was in charge in Serbia. Now he isn't. He committed atrocities of some kind, didn't he? Was it against the Croats or Muslims? What, exactly, is the evidence of genocide? Or did the Croats commit atrocities? No, it must have been Serbia. The United States did not invade Croatia, so it must have been Serbia. Isn't that why Milosevic is being tried by the World Court, or is it the International Court of Justice? Anyway, somebody is trying him. Somewhere.
The American media have not reported on this trial for at least two years. It was front-page, prime-time news in February, 2002. Milosevic refused to respond obediently to the judges. He told them that he would defend himself. He did not need a court-appointed lawyer. They had no lawful jurisdiction, he said. Then . . . nothing. No more news reports. No more explanations.
No results. Silence.
Milosevic faded from public view almost as fast as the supposed al-Qaeda unit that was surrounded by the Pakistani Army last month. Overnight, that skirmish disappeared from public view. No answer as to who the mysterious high-level terrorist was, or even if he was. Just silence. It became, as William Lind says, the battle that wasn't. Lind, an expert in modern guerilla warfare, thinks that the outcome of that non-battle will lead to the overthrow of the present government of Pakistan. But no one in the conventional media even remembers the non-battle. Why, it was weeks ago! Ancient history.
Then there is Saddam Hussein. We watched him get a dental inspection. Over and over, we saw that inspection: an endless loop at the dentist's office. Then . . . nothing. He has now been brought to justice. Whose justice? Will there be a trial? Who will conduct it? Where? When?
Meanwhile, Iraq is turning into a graveyard for Americans.
Saddam is in jail, yet the death rate for U.S. troops is rising. The Shi'ites are sending Care packages to Sunnis. "Joy to the world, the war has come!" The old rule of Islam is taking over events in Iraq: "My brother and I against our cousin. My cousin, my brother, and I against the world."
This war is costing the U.S. at least a billion dollars a week. That's a low-ball estimate. But where's the Iraqi oil? Where is our exit strategy? Who will be in charge after June 30?
Nobody says. I don't think anyone knows.
Oh, yes, one more thing: Where's Osama?
SMOKING GUN #1
The burning media question of the day is this: What did President Bush know about al-Qaeda's threat to the United States, and when did he know it? Why did the Administration refuse to put Osama bin Laden's possible plans at the top of its list of priorities?
The loyalists' answer these days is a question: "How was the President to know that al-Qaeda would launch a strike of that magnitude against the U.S. in the late summer of 2001?" I have a possible answer.
"Because the Bush administration had been planning a pre-emptive military strike against Afghanistan and the Taliban, who provided bin Laden with his base of operations. He wanted to get credit for a pre-emptive attack against Bush rather than allowing Bush to get all the credit. In his view, it was better for Islam to appear as the initiator of the war against the infidels rather than the other way around."
What if the now-famous White House memo had mentioned plans for a pre-emptive strike by the United States, plans which were in place no later than June 2001? Wouldn't the media today be in a feeding frenzy? Wouldn't that fact be the mother of all smoking guns? What if Osama knew all about the looming pre-emptive attack against Afghanistan, and decided to launch his first? Shouldn't the President have expected this?
Loyalists might reply, "That's all well and good, but where is the proof that such a U.S. attack was being planned in the summer of 2001? And how would bin Laden have known about it?"
My answer is this: "One of his associates had access to the Internet. He used Google to search for ‘Afghanistan' and ‘United States' on a regular basis. He came across the following document in late June 2001."
in anti-Taliban military plan
India and Iran will "facilitate" the planned U.S.-Russian hostilities against the Taliban.
By Our Correspondent
26 June 2001: India and Iran will "facilitate" U.S. and Russian plans for "limited military action" against the Taliban if the contemplated tough new economic sanctions don't bend Afghanistan's fundamentalist regime.
The Taliban controls 90 per cent of Afghanistan and is advancing northward along the Salang highway and preparing for a rear attack on the opposition Northern Alliance from Tajikistan-Afghanistan border positions.
Indian foreign secretary Chokila Iyer attended a crucial session of the second Indo-Russian joint working group on Afghanistan in Moscow amidst increase of Taliban's military activity near the Tajikistan border. And, Russia's Federal Security Bureau (the former KGB) chief Nicolai Patroshev is visiting Teheran this week in connection with Taliban's military build-up.
Indian officials say that India and Iran will only play the role of "facilitator" while the United States and Russia will combat the Taliban from the front with the help of two Central Asian countries, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, to push Taliban lines back to the 1998 position 50 km away from Mazar-e-Sharief city in northern Afghanistan.
Military action will be the last option though it now seems scarcely avoidable with the United Nations banned from Taliban-controlled areas. The United Nations, which adopted various means in the last four years to resolve the Afghan problem, is now being suspected by the Taliban and refused entry into Taliban areas of the war-ravaged nation through a decree issued by Taliban chief Mullah Mohammad Omar last month.
Diplomats say that the anti-Taliban move followed a meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Collin Powel and Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and later between Powell and Indian foreign minister Jaswant Singh in Washington. Russia, Iran and India have also held a series of discussions and more diplomatic activity is expected. . . .
I first reported on this document on October 11, 2001, one month after the attack. My report went to 35,000 subscribers. It was immediately posted on this site.
On April 2, 2003, I wrote a follow-up that cited this document: "Osama, Stingers, and Spam." In it, I cited Osama bin Laden's writings on the need to create a conflict between the U.S. and the Islamic world. It was also posted on this site.
Not one reporter ever contacted me about this document. I have never seen any conventional media outlet refer to it. There it sits, in plain site, but no one notices. That gun has been smoking ever since June 26, 2001. No one notices.
I am not saying that al-Qaeda planned the attack in a mere two months. I am saying that the threat of a U.S. invasion of Afghanistan speeded up al-Qaeda's timetable. Bin Laden beat Bush to the punch. He pre-empted the proposed pre-emption.
The Administration was asleep at the wheel in September, 2001. It was planning a Constitutionally illegal invasion of a foreign country. The Bush doctrine of the legitimate pre-emptive strike was already operating. It had just not been deployed yet. Osama bin Laden took action first. He understood Saul Alinsky's principle: "The action is the reaction." He made it appear as though he, not President Bush, is the true man of action. He made it appear that militant Islam, not the West, is the initiator.
The Administration did not understand that it was dealing with a determined enemy. The Administration misjudged Osama bin Laden as a strategist. Whoever was advising the President did not recognize this fact: When it comes to pre-emptive military strikes, two can play that game.
The media are also asleep at the wheel. They refuse to report on the obvious. They get in a dither over an unspecific memo, when they should be in a dither about the absence of more specific memos related to the possibility that al-Qaeda might strike the United States before the United States struck Afghanistan.
Here is what I wrote on Oct. 11, 2001:
Hooray for the "Forward" button!
Nevertheless, let's assume hypothetically that some reporter, anxious to become the next Woodward/Bernstein, were to present the following proposal on his editor's desk. "Sir . . . I want to pursue the matter. I want to get the following questions answered."
- How long before June 26 did top-level strategists for Russia and the United States come to agreement regarding a joint anti-Taliban military alliance?
- Why was this information made available through an obscure Web publication in India, but not through the news media in the United States?
- What were the underlying strategic motivations on both sides of this alliance prior to September 11?
- When did the high-level strategists on both sides plan to reveal the existence of this alliance to the legislatures of both nations?Then there is the question that an experienced reporter would not dare place in front of his editor:
- What kind of public event was deemed necessary by the strategists on both sides of this alliance to justify it to the legislatures of both nations?
I predict that no one in the news media will pursue this story. It will be dismissed as not being newsworthy.
In the good old days, it might have been possible for a reporter at a presidential press conference to ask a question about this. But when was the last time any President held a press conference?
The reason why I came across this story is because of a tip from a reader. Because of the World Wide Web, and because of search engines such as Google, inquiring people can find information like this. Because of Websites like freerepublic.com and lewrockwell.com, stories like these can get in front of a limited number of people. Finally, because of the "Forward" button, these stories also get out. But they never get out to the general public.
There are perhaps a few hundred thousand Americans who would regard this story as newsworthy. But I suspect that most Americans, now caught up in the war against terrorism, would shrug it off. That's why it is possible for the government and the media to bury stories like this one.
I did not think the media would pick up this story. My assessment then has proven to be 100% accurate.
When the media decide not to pursue a story, there is nothing on Earth, short of the story's appearance in The New York Times, to force their hand. Until the Times decides that a seemingly far-fetched story is newsworthy, it isn't newsworthy. It's the three monkeys: Hear no story, see no story, repeat no story.
The story of the government's plans to invade Afghanistan was only one smoking gun in the summer of 2001. The hotter story was this one. It received a brief flurry on the Internet, but it did not get into The New York Times, so it became a non-event, a smoking non-gun.
SMOKING GUN #2
On Nov. 5, 2001, I reported the following. For those of you who recall my report, think back: Did any major news media outlet in the United States follow through? For those of you who did not read my report, have you ever heard about this before? If so, where?
In July, 2001, Osama bin Laden spent at least one week in an American-run hospital in Dubai. He suffers from kidney disease. The U.S. government knew about this visit. It even sent a CIA officer to interview him. I wrote:
The story of bin Laden's hospital stay was reported last week in Le Figaro. I cannot imagine a hotter story, yet U.S. newspapers are pretending that it's not newsworthy — "not worth pursuing." An Israeli Website has translated the full article from Le Figaro (Oct. 31). This should have been front-page news in every newspaper in America, the lead story on every network. But it doesn't fit the official government version. The people therefore don't have a right to know. Or, as we might put it, "All the news that fits."
Arriving from the airport of Quetta, Pakistan, Osama bin laden was transferred upon arrival at Dubai airport. Accompanied by his personal doctor and faithful lieutenant, the Egyptian Ayman al-Zawahari (though on this latter, the testimony of the eyewitness was not formal), as well as by four body guards and an Algerian nurse, bin Laden was admitted to the American Hospital, a building of glass and marble situated between al-Garhoud Bridge and al-Maktoum bridge.
Each story of the hospital has two VIP suites and around 15 rooms. The millionaire Saudi was admitted to the renowned department of urology headed by Dr. Terry Callaway, an expert on kidney stones and male infertility. In the course of several telephone calls, Callaway did not wish to respond to our questions.
In March 2000 the weekly journal, Asia Week, published in Hong Kong, raised questions about bin Laden's health, stating that he suffered from a serious physical problem and more precisely that he was in danger due to a kidney infection that had spread to the liver and required the care of a specialist. According to legitimate sources, bin Laden had delivered to a post in Kandahar a mobile dialysis machine sometime in the first part of 2000. According to our sources, "this trip for reasons of Bin Laden's health" was not the first. Between 1996 and 1998, Osama bin Laden went to Dubai several times for health purposes. . . .
Throughout his stay in the hospital, Osama bin Laden received visits from many family members and Saudi Arabian and emirate personalities of status. During this time, the local representative of the CIA was seen by many people taking the elevator and going to bin Laden's room. . . .
In my report, I provided a link to an Israeli Web site that posted this direct translation from Le Figaro. That site is now gone.
Fortunately, the Global Research site has also translated the article and keeps it online.
United Press International picked up the story for a day, but nothing came of it.
Yahoo ran a brief account. That story is long gone on Yahoo, but Infowars.com has reproduced an image of it.
There was a brief report on the story in the British newspaper, The Guardian (Nov. 1, 2001). That article is still on-line.
You can find lots of references to this event on Web sites, but most of these sites are of the "alternative news" variety. They are not the journalistic equivalent of The New York Times. As far as the conventional media were concerned, this story was dropped down the memory hole.
I continued my report.
The CIA has responded to this story. Here is the official explanation.
That's it? That's it.
The media whoop up a story for a few days, then let it drop.
There is rarely any follow-through. The media suffer from ADD.
Wise citizens try to make decisions about their futures. They would like to be told the truth by their government, so that they can base their decisions on accurate information. But there is a combination of government-created noise and deliberate deception that keeps citizens from making appropriate decisions.
I find it ironic that the administration's answer to Richard Clarke's accusations is this: "There was too much unspecific information. Bin Laden is a schemer. He concealed his organization's actions too well. There was no way we could have responded in advance of the 9/11 attack."
It is not only private terrorists who are successful in such planning against their enemies.
April 14, 2004
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