Monday, October 5, 2009

CIA/Media War Against "Conspiracy Theorists": Vincent Carroll's Lazy-Man's Guide to 9/11

I honestly tried to find a photo of Vincent Carroll - a stalwart "conservative" editorial writer at the Denver Post - in which he doesn't appear to be crazy, but this proved to be a futile pursuit.

His politics: "Vince Carroll (just slightly to the left of Mussolini)"

Carroll's Opinion-Formation Modus Operandi

As a conservative, Carroll must manipulate readers of the Denver Post editorial pages. For some reason, all right-wing writers feel that this is their blessed mandate on earth.

Attacking ethics group, Post's Carroll failed to disclose key facts and his own past criticism of Coffman in ethics case

Media Matters

"Summary: Vince Carroll's Denver Post column criticized Colorado Ethics Watch for what he labeled a "lurid crusade" [demonization, reductio ad absurdum, straw man finger-pointing] against U.S. Rep. and former Colorado Secretary of State Mike Coffman [martyr creation]. But Carroll's column omitted key background [cherry-picking details] about the ethics case against Coffman -- including the fact that Ethics Watch submitted extensive documentary evidence [censorship] -- and did not disclose that as editorial page editor of the Rocky Mountain News [Op-Ed editor is a common Mockingbird state-propaganda post], he had published an editorial criticizing Coffman for some of the same issues that Ethics Watch later cited in filing its complaint [convenient lapses of memory and lackadaisical fact-checking]."

Carroll takes the Same Lack of Integrity to his Denver Post commentaries on 9/11.

From "Public TV and 9/11," by Vincent Carroll, 09/26/2009:

"'9/11: Blueprint for Truth,' featuring Bay Area architect Richard Gage of Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, peddles the familiar Truther theme that the collapse of the Twin Towers and Building 7 were the result of controlled demolitions that would have taken months to prepare. ...

"Just in case viewers are too dense to figure out the probable culprits, Gage helpfully provides plenty of clues. Remember, he says, 9/11 'served as the pretext' for the invasion of two countries in which already more than a million people have perished. Also as the pretext for the loss of many of our cherished liberties here at home in the United States through recent legislation such as the Patriot Act. ... '

The propagandists are getting lazy. More and more often, they don't bother to refute - they simply quote a liberal ne'er-do-well as if hanging the poor, dumb beast by his own petard and leave it at that. 9/11 was a direct pretext for invading Iraq. 9/11 was the direct pretext for hurried passage of the Patriot Act. No one says otherwise. But Carroll does, presumably, though he doesn't quibble, just leaves the opposition to twist in the wind. Clever (?) ...

"'Is it likely,' he wonders at one point, 'that al-Qaeda could have had access to' Building 7, with its sensitive government offices, since it must have been as secure as anything 'outside the Pentagon?'

"He's got us there, doesn't he? Perhaps President Bush himself, along with a crack team of demolition experts from the CIA, personally packed Building 7 and the Twin Towers with explosives in the run-up to 9/11, while Dick Cheney and his Halliburton cronies organized the al-Qaeda dupes who would hijack the planes.

"Sounds plausible to me.

"And how has the grand conspiracy, which the film suggests includes the major media, been kept under wraps all these years? Why has no one in this vast web of deceit developed pangs of conscience or second thoughts, or called in a film crew for a death-bed confession?

"Anticipating such questions, Gage claims 'the Manhattan project had thousands of people and was kept quite a secret for a very long time.' By 'very long time,' he must mean the brief period before spies like Klaus Fuchs, David Greenglass and Theodore Hall began passing classified material to the Soviets.

"Channel 12 is a local asset with lots of good programs, and Bernson is no doubt sincere that ;we weren't sitting around trying to figure how to upset the community' when the decision was made to air these films. It's not even clear the community is upset, given the apparently modest volume of complaints that Bernson reports and the success in fundraising. ... "

This is not a very ambitious Truther debunking. It's rather childish, lazy. Some state propagandists in the military-corporate press are masters of their craft. They go to great lengths to crucify their victims in the 9/11 Truth Movement, bone up on the obscure scientific forensics, comb over and quote complicated federal reports and engineering papers, concoct ingenious arguments that appear to make mince-meat of the Truthers. Not Carroll. Where is his conservative drive to crush all resistance?

He has other right-wing axes to grind, of course. (The problem is, he's not so good at it. I found, with a Google search, that his readers repeatedly refer to him as a "propagandist.") He doesn't only spit on 9/11 Truthers. Carroll has also advanced global warming talking points that happen to be identical to the energy industry's. His main source, as it happens, is a CIA/military intelligence front - the American Enterprise Institute.

A critic of Carroll observes that he "completely ignores sources like the McKinsey Global Institute and the International Energy Agency .... Vincent Carroll wrote an op-ed piece in the Denver Post yesterday: Carbon cutting pipe dreams. Someone's smoking a pipe... Using tortured logic and forming an argument around industry-approved talking points has long been a mainstay of the way Cons approach any number of policy topics. ... Carroll's citation of reduction of personal freedom is a strawman. Rather than address the subject at hand, he retreats back to a common complaint Cons make of liberal policies. ... Carroll's version of reality is too heavily biased by extremist do-nothings who profiteer from the rest of us. Ignoring easily accessible non-partisan energy research by reputable outfits is among the least of his faults. It must be nice to have a gig where fact-checking is optional. ..."

But fact-checking is work - and this is the profile of a shiftless writer. Facts don't seem to be Carroll's concern. He'd rather shape opinions with small effort and take the rest of the day off, evidently.

- AC

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