We The Sheeple
“Never let a good tragedy go to waste.” Infamously uttered by Chicago mayor/former Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, history has shown governments have no problem using tragic events to mislead their citizens, going back to the Reichstag Fire and beyond.
Last week’s bombing at the Boston Marathon revealed, however, mainstream journalists have largely forgotten or ignore history to the extent that any questioning of the official story by the Fourth Estate is dismissed as “conspiracy theory,” further dumbing down a populace long weaned on the dangerous belief anything governments say is truth.
With the alleged terrorist attack, a number of inconsistencies in official reports have occurred with nary a dollop of healthy journalistic skepticism, including:
- Police claims that bombing suspect 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed after his younger brother ran him over with a car, but doctors at the hospital where he was sent only saw evidence of gunshot and shrapnel wounds, not vehicular.
- Reports that the two brothers robbed a 7-Eleven despite surveillance camera footage that confirms this claim to be untrue.
- FBI claims that its tracking of Tsarnaev was lost after he went on a six-month overseas trip (and later due to a misspelling of his surname). The father of the bombing suspects, however, says their mother received a call from the feds just before the bombing. TIME magazine also reports Tsarnaev spent much of his six-month trip as a “normal son, helping his dad with construction.”
- Why was a near-total shutdown of Boston warranted compared to a decade ago when two roving snipers terrorized DC without requiring virtual martial law to solve?
Note all of the above links are from mainstream media reports. While it’s possible the inconsistencies are simply errors that typically occur in the early stage of a major breaking story, the fact that journalists are not asking tough questions sets the stage for government intervention that uses fear to enact new laws that, over time, can trample basic human rights, privacy and freedoms (while conveniently tapping into a huge budgets allocated for “security”). Privacy doesn’t just impact your email – it’s just about everything in this increasingly digital world including online banking, your (real-time) movement, health records, text messages, photo albums, social circles, religious beliefs, biometric data and more. Now imagine if Hitler had that power at his finger tips.
Canada is not exempt from leveraging “good tragedies” for political gain. Buried within yesterday’s announcement of a thwarted terrorist attack on Via Rail is the police admission that an attack was not “imminent.” After a year of surveillance, however, the timing of yesterday’s arrest just happens to coincide with anti-terror bill S7 currently being debated in the House of Commons.
Incidentally, it’s not just us armchair skeptics who are suspicious of the timing. The Toronto Star is as well. The bill has enough alarming legal question marks to warrant being rushed through debate, prompting the Canadian Bar Association to warn it “has the potential to violate basic rights and freedoms of Canadians” without actually improving security. Thanks to an unquestioning media and ever-secretive government, few Canadians are familiar with the implications of the new law and fewer care as long as we feel safer, despite the fact that terrorism kills less Canadians annually than McDonalds.
The end result of these societal trends is an outcome only a terrorist could love: erosion of personal liberties including the premise “innocent until proven guilty,” the corporate toothlessness of a “free press” more interested in the Kardashians than holding governments accountable, the overnight loss of privacy – and ultimately the diminishment of democracy itself.
Truth is indeed the first casualty of war, particularly when the war is as staged as the premise of reporting.