"If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all." ~ Virginia Woolf
What Even a Hoax Can Tell Us: The 'Kennebunkport Warning'
Exclusive to STR
September 4, 2007
- 1 -
An Ominous Warning
Last week a warning was posted at many sites on the internet. The core of this warning was that "the backers, controllers, and allies of Vice President Dick Cheney are determined to orchestrate and manufacture a new 9/11 terror incident, and/or a new Gulf of Tonkin war provocation over the coming weeks and months."
"Massive evidence" was mentioned but not disclosed, nor has it been forthcoming since the document was released.
Several prominent anti-war figures, including Cindy Sheehan, were listed as having signed the document. Later, a JPEG image of the document was posted that showed what appeared to be signatures of the listed persons.
Given that the U.S. government has been saber-rattling at Iran for months, and that our government has already used the 9/11 attacks so blatantly and successfully to gain new police-state powers (the USA Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act of 2006, and the John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007, to name only three examples), a warning of this nature is quite believable.
Indeed, just days after the "Warning" surfaced, the London Times reported (on Sunday 9/2/2007) that "The Pentagon has drawn up plans for massive airstrikes against 1,200 targets in Iran, designed to annihilate the Iranians' military capability in three days." Other news suggests this plan of attack is nearing the point of execution, and that some of those who will be ordered to carry out the attack are wondering what on Earth is happening:
"What's missing is the answer to what the hell are we doing out here threatening this country with all this power? Last night in the galley, an ensign asked what right do we have to tell a sovereign nation that they can't build a nuke. I mean the table got EF Hutton quiet. Not so much because the man was asking a question that was off culture. But that he was asking a good question."
- 2 -
Regardless of whether an attack on Iran or a government-orchestrated domestic terrorist attack is imminent, it appears the "Kennebunkport Warning" document itself is a hoax; the signatures shown in the JPEG were apparently taken from a different document. One of the alleged signatories, Dahlia S. Wasfi, M.D., has posted the following statement at her website -- note that Cindy Sheehan and others are listed as having signed this statement:
***Re: "The Kennebunkport Warning"***
PLEASE DISTRIBUTE WIDELY
To Whom It May Concern:
Each of us were approached during the rally at the Kennebunkport event on August 25, 2007 , to sign a statement calling for the immediate impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney. Since then, the statement has been altered and posted on the internet, making it appear as if we have evidence that this administration will carry out a "false-flag terror operation."
None of us have such evidence, and therefore, none of us signed a statement stating that we do.
We wish the authors of the document well in continuing much needed investigations of all aspects of 9/11.
Jamilla El-Shafei, Cindy Sheehan, Dahlia Wasfi, Ann Wright
[The posting continues]:
The Bush administration has proven that sacrificing lives of Americans and other innocents around the world is a price worth paying in the name of criminal corporate profit. Dr. Phil says that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. As such, it is certainly within the realm of possibility for the neo-conservative junta in Washington to launch another war based on lies. However, I do not have "the smoking gun," if you will, to prove it.
I signed a statement in Kennebunkport to endorse the impeachment of Dick Cheney, but my signature has been used on this "Warning" without my consent. While I was humbled to have my signature misappropriated with such prominent voices as Cindy Sheehan, Cynthia McKinney, and Jamilla El-Shafei, none of us signed that document.
Therefore, please contact the statement's distributors for information on their evidence.
With you in the struggle until justice is served,
- 3 -
The Most Important Meaning of this Event
Whether the "Warning" was a psyop designed to discredit future warnings and complaints about administration behavior (as some are now suggesting), or a desperate and dishonest act by someone sincerely afraid, or an actual message from the listed signers, one critical truth highlighted by the whole affair cannot be dismissed:
Millions of people around the world find it all-too-believable that the U.S. government might create a false-flag attack -- abroad or even at home -- to advance an agenda of martial law and aggressive war.
Imagine anyone believing such things about the governments of, say, Switzerland, Costa Rica, or New Zealand! The behavior of those governments is not consistent with use of a false-flag attack of any type. Switzerland, Costa Rica, and New Zealand are not rogue, terrorist governments; they are militarily non-aggressive and respectful of human rights both at home and abroad. (Costa Rica doesn't even HAVE an army, having abolished it in 1948. Costa Ricans actually celebrate this peaceful state of affairs with a holiday, on December 1: D'a de la Abolici'n del Ej'rcito -- Military Abolition Day). Any government is a danger, but the reputation these three governments enjoy is positive because none has lately been a violent threat to their own citizens or to anyone else.
The United States is a different story entirely: the U.S. uses its staggeringly expensive military frequently and often aggressively around the world. This record of aggression has been continued and expanded by the Bush administration, which has not only invaded but occupied Afghanistan and Iraq, neither of which had attacked us, or threatened to attack us, or even possessed the realistic ability to attack us.
Around the world, people have little trouble believing that the Bush administration might create a terrorist attack in America or a false-flag attack overseas because the behavior of the United States government since 9/11/2001 -- quite possibly INCLUDING the 9/11 attacks themselves -- has often been dishonest, illegal, and violent, featuring lies in the service of domestic tyranny and aggressive foreign war; systematic torture of detainees in violation of U.S. law and the Geneva Conventions; blatantly unconstitutional police-state legislation; the creation of a gulag of Halliburton-built domestic detention camps; and other horrors consistent with the actions of what may be loosely termed a rogue government -- one that uses violence and propaganda to create fear and to justify dictatorial powers at home and (in some cases) aggressive war abroad.
Years of such behavior is changing the world's opinion of us. In a story titled "Dream on America," Newsweek summed up foreign sentiment this way: "58 percent in the BBC poll see Bush's re-election as a threat to world peace. Among America's traditional allies, the figure is strikingly higher: 77 percent in Germany, 64 percent in Britain and 82 percent in Turkey. Among the 1.3 billion members of the Islamic world, public support for the United States is measured in single digits. Only Poland, the Philippines and India viewed Bush's second Inaugural positively." The story went on to point out something that Americans are only slowly coming to notice: "Tellingly, the anti-Bushism of the president's first term is giving way to a more general anti-Americanism."
In short: the actual behavior of the Bush administration suggests to millions that the United States is a dangerous rogue government; our government is seen as such by many at home and by the majority of adults in many other nations around the world. This cannot be good, or even safe, for American citizens.
America once called itself the land of the free and the home of the brave. We prided ourselves on our support for peace, freedom, and human rights.
- 4 -
A Common Tactic in War and Tyranny
More on why the "Kennebunkport Warning" was widely seen in anti-war circles as possibly credible: the false-flag attack is a proven method of creating support for military aggression and for police-state repression at home; as a result, such attacks have been commonplace in history. In essence, a false-flag attack is a form of pro-war, pro-tyranny propaganda. The Reichstag fire, used by Hitler to justify dictatorial powers and widely believed to have been staged for that purpose by the Nazis, is only the most famous example. The United States government has previously planned and executed a number of false flag attacks and covert coups and military actions, including Operation Ajax in 1953 to overthrow democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mossadegh (leading to installation of the brutal and pro-American Shah). Our government planned but did not activate Operation Northwoods, designed to create support for military action against Castro's Cuba by false-flag terrorist acts here in America. Other U.S. false flag operations and aggressive actions through the decades are described in Stephen Kinzer's Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq and in John Perkins' The Secret History of the American Empire: Economic Hit Men, Jackals, and the Truth About Global Corruption. I highly recommend these books; both are riveting reads and full of information that every American -- every person on Earth, for that matter -- really should know.
There is yet another reason the Kennebunkport hoax rang true to so many: the neo-cons in charge of our federal government made it clear, years before 9/11, that "a new Pearl Harbor" would be necessary to rally public opinion around their violent plans for taking over the Middle East (and indeed, essentially the entire world); see the infamous New American Century website, begun in the 1990s and still active. David Ray Griffin titled his book The New Pearl Harbor: Disturbing Questions about the Bush Administration and 9/11 in reference to that "Pearl Harbor" comment.
Whenever I am reminded of that comment and all that followed, from 9/11 on, what comes to mind is the phrase "probable cause."
- 5 -
Rumor and Underground News versus the Major Media
During the Hitler years, the press in both Germany and abroad -- including here in America -- was generally respectful and even enthusiastic about both Hitler and his National Socialist Democratic Worker's Party. Several well-known American business leaders, celebrities, and academics were enamored of Hitler. Hitler was seen as a dynamic visionary; a man of action; a strong, charismatic leader who would restore Germany to its rightful place in the world. Hitler was a bulwark against Soviet Communism yet a leader in implementing socialist policy including radical ideas like a social security system. And of course, big business loved Hitler for his grand and expensive plans. Something for everyone! No wonder the media made him a superstar instead of focusing on his dark side.
You can watch video of a Nazi rally here; Hitler shows up about four minutes into the clip. The video is worth watching especially if you've never seen the spectacle of a Nazi rally or Hitler in action as an orator. As we now know -- and as some could see at the time -- Hitler had been destroyed as a human being in childhood. Basically, he was a sociopath; insane but functional -- an all-too-common condition among "world leaders" generally. In his early writings, including Mein Kampf, Hitler had already ". . . announced -- long before he came to power -- a program of blood and terror in a self-revelation of such overwhelming frankness that few had the courage to believe it", as Konrad Heiden, author of Der Fuhrer: Hitler's Rise to Power puts it in his comment at Amazon.
Yet in the 1930s and even into the early 1940s, Hitler was widely portrayed in the media and by various authorities and experts as the respectable leader of a civilized, educated nation. Hitler was Time Magazine's Man of the Year for 1938. Media coverage showed Hitler as a statesman, a member of the global power elite, and even something of a father figure (which Hitler certainly encouraged) -- not as dangerous psychopath plotting death for millions.
What does that say about the judgment of experts and authorities? What does it say about the major media and about the public in general?
When lies and repression are the norm, the most accurate source of news and commentary is not the mainstream press, which becomes increasingly a tool for propaganda (in addition to the general bias towards war shown in the media in the build-up to war with Iraq and now Iran, consider the pro-war ad blitz about to commence in the U.S.). The mainstream press mostly refused to publish stories about the death camps and other atrocities being planned and then committed by Nazi Germany. The information was available but it was not sanctioned as "official" and was not widely reported in the major media of the day. The information was in the form of rumor, of second- and third-hand anecdotes, of flyers printed in back rooms at night, and as graffiti hastily written on walls, paint dripping as the author fled the scene.
The major news organizations could have tracked these stories and rumors down and exposed the truth for the world to see. But they did not, and as a consequence, the truth remained largely hidden until many millions of victims had already been murdered.
People in Hitler's Germany (as in so many other places around the world, throughout history) were arrested for distributing truthful information about the ruling regime. Many were shot or hanged or beheaded; others were sent to concentration camps. The non-violent White Rose resistance group is among the more famous examples from the WWII era.
When lies and tyranny are the norm, the most accurate sources of news and commentary are frequently rumor and the underground press. Both sources are replete with lies, fantasies, and distortions, yet both also contain, all-too-often, powerful truths which the public needs to hear. This is the role played by today's internet, and is why government censorship of the internet is increasing in nations around the world. No tyrant wants a spotlight on his criminal actions; the cover for this censorship is always to "protect the public" from one imaginary danger or another.
Members of the White Rose told the truth about the Nazi death camps and other horrors at a time when the major media would not. Had the media paid attention earlier, had they been pressured to tell the truth to a wide audience, the arc of history might have been different.
- 6 -
Is the "Kennebunkport Warning" a hoax? Apparently so.
But it still has much to tell us.