August 26th, 2006

If you only read one thing today…

…it should be this (hat tip: too many sources to list).

The Red Cross Ambulance Incident appears to have been an influential hoax, picked up by an uncritical, unthinking, and uninformed MSM and then disseminated around the world to great effect. It took blogger “zombie” a great deal of time and effort to deconstruct the story.

One of the advantages the blogosphere offers is that–and this is no secret, nor is it a criticism–many bloggers have some form of OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). Now, OCD in its milder form isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s only really a problem if it’s over the top and out of control, such as the Jack Nicholson role in the movie “As Good As it Gets.” But the milder form of OCD merely lends those who demonstrate it an enhanced ability to tend to detail, to persevere and follow through on a line of questioning and research.

And this tendency, marked in many bloggers, allows them to have uncovered a phenomenal phenomenon, to wit: the number of hoaxes perpetrated both on and by the media. From the debunking of the Rathergate memos to Pallywood to Green Helmet Guy to the present sordid and alarming story, the Red Cross Ambulance Hoax, it took the time and perspicacity available to bloggers to uncover some exceptionally disturbing–and historically influential–trends.

How long has this deception been going on? How much of world opinion has been formed by what amounts to deliberate lies, spread and perpetrated by either a naive or actively colluding media (I vote for naive, but others may differ)?

37 Responses to “If you only read one thing today…”

  1. Brad Says:

    Neo, I normally respect your insight, but in this case I must disagree with your assertion. Although the evidence is clear in those photos that the ambulances were not hit by Isreali fire, they COULD have been. And you’re ignoring the fact that Israel’s occupation of land siezed in violation of International Law is the root cause of the violence from Indonesia to Sudan, including the destruction of those ambulances.

  2. camojack Says:

    “…the milder form of OCD merely lends those who demonstrate it an enhanced ability to tend to detail, to persevere and follow through on a line of questioning and research.”

    Actually, “attention to detail” is my motto…and personal philosophy. It has served me well in life, and is a good habit to develop when one works on aircraft, as I do…

  3. Zhombre Says:

    Sorry, Brad, but a thing is either true or untrue, and your loose standard of truth is absurd. And allow to add that the root cause of violence from Indonesia to Sudan is militant Islamo-fascism, regardless of your appalling and brainless scapegoating of Israel.

  4. Zeno Says:

    Brad,
    What has the killing of muslims by other muslims in Sudan to do with Israel? How is the decapitation of Christian schoolgirls in Indonesia related to Israel? What’s your problem? Are there still any functioning braincells in your head? Do you actually understand what you are saying? And can you please not use the expression “root causes”? It hurts every time I hear it.

    I don’t think the media is “naive” anymore. It’s not even journalism anymore, it’s active propaganda – anti-Western, anti-US, anti-Israel.

  5. Robert Schwartz Says:

    MSM, not objective, just on the other side.

  6. Foobarista Says:

    Brad: “but it could have been”. Also known as the Dan Rather “Fake but Accurate” defense…

  7. Senescent Wasp Says:

    I have cut and pasted Brad’s amazing post and have been sending it around my mailing list.

    Result? Howls of laughter and a lively discussion. “COULD have been” now joins, “Fake but accurate” and “truthiness” in the archive of the Loons.

    Thanks Brad.

    Listening to: Ralph Vaughan Williams, Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis

  8. ginger Says:

    Thanks Neo for posting about this. I have been following this whole fauxtography mess for a few weeks now…Zombie has at the moment the definitive work on this….along with Charles (LGF). Naive? I can’t get there, although my formerly naive self would like to believe that. This is deliberate, determined and active distortion of the ‘news’. The MSM has been called, checked and named. It’s no accident…..to me it borders on pure treason. Yet they continue to whine about the unfairness of the blog-o-sphere for questioning their ‘integrity’. Be it Cnn, ABC, or even Fox…it all needs a good deal of fact checking these days, and that is a huge difference from the Uncle Walter days of old. I simply don’t trust a thing they print anymore. The proof is in the pudding…and the pudding coming from the media these days is rather sour overall.

  9. Occam's Beard Says:

    We really need to teach logic in schools. (Serious, well-grounded logic, not leftist nonsense masquerading as a sort of “alternative” logic.)

    Logic demands that whoever makes an assertion bears the burden of proving it, and if he fails to carry that burden, we default to disbelief.

    In this case, given the trenchant criticisms of the Red Cross ambulance photos, disbelief is demanded until those asserting their authenticity substantiate their claims.

    Whether they COULD be true is irrelevant (what’s the contrary position, that it’s impossible to take a photo of a bombed ambulance?). Someone could proffer a document purporting to be, e.g., Dan Rather’s membership card in NAMBLA. The fact that such a card is capable of existence – which is what the “could be true argument boils down to – obviously doesn’t mean a thing.

  10. dicentra Says:

    It should probably be said that prior to Zombie’s full compendium, Dan at Riehl World View introduced the issue and did quite a bit of work on it. She gets lots of her info from his site.

  11. Brad Says:

    To quote people far wiser than me:
    I am afraid you don’t see the irony in your post.

    That cost/benefit calculation is exactly what the neo-cons were considering when they decided to launch the false flag attack known as 9/11.

    Before you question this assertion, please provide your explanation for the implosion of WTC building 7 – the one that was NOT hit by an airplane. If you can’t explain WTC 7, you can’t explain 9/11. (Hint, FEMA & NIST haven’t been able to explain it so far and the 9/11 Commission completely ommitted it.)

  12. Brad Says:

    Violence shatters Logan Square

    Tropical Storm Ernesto strengthens

    3 dead in suburban crash

    Schwarzenegger settles groping lawsuit

    Wrist injury forces Venus to miss U.S. Open

    No damage detected on Ramirez’s MRI

    Man gets 56 years for kidnap, murder

    Chicagoan seized at White House

    New Orleans mayor blasts rebuilding at WTC

    New arrest in failed German train bombing

    Violence everywhere, and you neocons just laugh about it, while whitewashing the horrific results of Israel attacking those ambulances. And don’t even bother responding until you answer three questions:

    1) Although the death rate in Iraq is one per person, why don’t you neocons address the fact that it is higher here in the US?

    2) Since the root cause of all Islamic violence since the 7th century is Zionism and poor drinking water in the Gaza strip, and US aggression, why spend so much on military adventurism, which just makes it worse?

    3) Since Bozo the Clown was cancelled here in Chicago crime has increased, why can’t you neocons find another Bozo, aside from Bush, to stop that trend?

    Silence, that’s what I thought; all I hear are Wasp wings flapping.
    pete

  13. Synova Says:

    Now it’s Brad? I don’t imagine that it *matters* but WTC – 7 has been explained and quite well. The reason it doesn’t matter is that the mind addicted to conspiracy can’t be reasoned with. The pleasure feed-back loop is too strong.

    Conspiracy tickles all the correct neurons in our monkey brains, it’s secret knowledge, pattern, puzzle, and superiority.

  14. Tatterdemalian Says:

    “Although the death rate in Iraq is one per person, why don’t you neocons address the fact that it is higher here in the US?”

    The US has a higher death rate? How many times do we get to die? If I’d known I had extra lives, I would have been a lot more daring, at least while I had lives left.

    “Since the root cause of all Islamic violence since the 7th century is Zionism and poor drinking water in the Gaza strip, and US aggression, why spend so much on military adventurism, which just makes it worse?”

    Because we have extra lives left. And we might still get the power up and win the game.

    “Since Bozo the Clown was cancelled here in Chicago crime has increased, why can’t you neocons find another Bozo, aside from Bush, to stop that trend?”

    Because clowns are for kids. Real men play Grand Theft Auto.

  15. Skookumchuk Says:

    How long has this deception been going on?

    You notice the NYT has never asked that Duranty’s Pulitzer be taken back. The message, you see, is more important than the truth.

  16. nyomythus Says:

    7th century is Zionism and poor drinking water in the Gaza strip, and US aggression

    and US agression in the 7th century … this alone .. moonbat alert!!!!

  17. Senescent Wasp Says:

    brad are you available to do stand up at parties? Shoulda known that you’d be a 9/11 conspiracist as well.

    You sound just like a guy I know who made a lot of money dealing weed and spent a chunk of it on blotter acid which subsequently gave his conversations, mostly with himself, a certain piquancy.

    Between his visits to the House of Rubber Rooms, he spends his time now searching for ‘shrooms in Norcal. Full SSI disability, he is convinced that Cheney and Bush used little joysticks in the Oval Office to fly the planes into the towers where the space ninjas were waiting to light the fuses for the demolitions.

    And, all the folks from UAL Flight 93 are being kept on Johnston Island in the Pacific and the chemical weapons incinerator is just a cover story.

    Is that you, Brad? One of the “Drop Acid Not Bombs” people?

    Have your agent email mail me, we’re having a BBQ soon and would like a comic to hoot and throw empty beer cans at.

    Listening to: The Cure, Just Like Heaven

  18. harry Says:

    “the chemical weapons incinerator is just a cover story.”

    They done with that thing yet? Whats it been? 17 years?

  19. radford Says:

    This zombie story is great.

    It’s been on Fox, every major right wing blog has referenced it, I even saw it this morning in the National Post.

    Terrific piece of analytic journalism.

    Thanks for the website Neo.

    (also, …Brad’s an asshole.)

  20. radford Says:

    This zombie story is great.

    It’s been on Fox, every major right wing blog has referenced it, I even saw it this morning in the National Post.

    Terrific piece of analytic journalism.

    Thanks for the website Neo.

    (also, …Brad’s an asshole.)

  21. strcpy Says:

    I, for one, am thankful for posters like Brad. In small doses it is quite humorous.

    I picture 7′th century Native Americans flinging poo over into the Gaza strips water supply while chanting “Long Live The Jews!! Jehovaaaaa!!!!” then turning and shooting each other in celebration (This is neocon response to Brads question of why we have a death rate of over one per person – evolution. Only the ones with more lives survived to breed given how often we flung poo and had celebratory shooting of each other). I suspect that our innacuracy in flinging poo is why the Sudan and others areas are angry – they didn’t know we could do such a thing as far back as the 7′th century and suspect each other. The people of Gaza were smarter though.

    As for tower seven, may I submit an even *better* proof of a cover-up: here. And remember folks, this is his second attempt, both of which proved that the towers could not collapse on thier own.

  22. rd Says:

    I Don’t give a damn about Israel. It’s
    just been a magnet for instability for over fifty years. The sooner the state of Israel dissolves the sooner the middle-east will achieve a lasting stability and live in peace.

  23. Senescent Wasp Says:

    rd, is that what they believe on the planet where you’re from? When you drank the Kool-aid was it sugar-free?

    Like the Islamofascists will just “fold their tents” (I know racist image, so shoot me, which you probably would if you knew which end the fast thing came out of) and go away and a million flowers will bloom and everyone will sing…

    Excuse me, let me lean over this potted plant and barf in it.

    I admire your courage in making that statement. Not everyone can publicly reveal the real depths of their stupidity as you have done.

    Listening to: The Cranberries, Everything I Said

  24. Sergey Says:

    Zionism did not exist in 7th century. It emerged in 19th. If “Zionism” is simply “existence of Jews” in Leftist newspeek, then, and only then, Bred’s assertion makes some sense. It also means that “anti-Zionism” is not simply denial Israel right to exist, but also denial Jews right to exist. In that case it not distingishable from Nazi “final solution”.

  25. Sergey Says:

    It makes sense to remind that so-called “Palestinians” proved to be uncapable to live peacefully under any rule, not only Israeli. In Jordan they attempted to assassinate King Husseyn; in Syria were involved in terrorism against Syrian government. All these rebellions were stifled in much more cruel manner by Arab rulers then any punitive measures imposed by Israel. “Black September” and “Hama” tell you something, Brad? If no, see Wiki or Google.

  26. nyomythus Says:

    The sooner the state of Israel dissolves the sooner the middle-east will achieve a lasting stability and live in peace.

    Yea Peace, babe — until all the free food and loot dissolves … what will the hagfish feed on without a steady supply of Jew meat? Euro-burgers?

    I see an Islamofascist Enlightenment, a novel for children titled, “How to Eat Fried Americans”. Leftist first – they’re already fried.

  27. betsybounds Says:

    I’m not sure how far back this “fake but accurate” thing goes, but I think Rigoberta Menchu’s 1992 Nobel Peace Prize for “I, Rigoberta” has a good claim to being the first instance of it on a grand scale. You might take a look at this site for further information:
    http://www.salon.com/col/horo/1999/01/nc_11horo2.html
    A quick search will reveal other sites as well. Menchu was sufficiently successful with her hoax that many others have adopted a similar method–we’re now seeing it nearly every day. Dan Rather is a right piker in the league. Of course, some might point all the way back to Walter Duranty, and not without justification. He never received a Nobel, but the Pulitzer is no slouch of a prize to be awarded for wanton fraud.

  28. Roy Says:

    C’mon guys! Brad is a hoax. Nobody’s that stupid.

  29. Tatterdemalian Says:

    I call BS too. Probably one of the neocon commenters using a sock puppet.

    Still pretty funny, though, in a Edgar Bergen kind of way.

  30. Stephen Britton Says:

    Interesting – I think it’s rubbish personally – but that really matters very little when you look at the big picture.

    Israel has been targeting Ambulances in Gaza and Lebanon before(well documented during ‘Peace for Galilee)and blaming it on the ‘terrorists’ for years.

    For every Israeli atrocity you can find you can find an apologist willing to lie and distort to no end to absolve Israel – and most times they are found out quite easily(think the Gaza beach ‘conspiracy’ and it’s birth in the Jewish/Christian right’s PR war on the net – completely without merit.

    Funny I didn’t here any apologies or recognition from that group that they were wrong – and miserably so.

    Quite telling, I’m afraid….

  31. jayne Says:

    More unexploding missiles/rockets (depending on news source) falling on poor peace-loving Reuter journalists. I guess they sent a second when the first didn’t send the slightly dinted van up in flames as advertised, but it must have come from the same batch. Hope Israel kept the receipts.

  32. Synova Says:

    No doubt the video I saw of people loading what appeared to be weapons into the back of a Red Cross van was a hoax.

    In Iraq, doctors who had Jessica Lynch tried to return her. US troops fired on the ambulance and it had to turn around. They fired on the ambulance *because* they knew that the enemy uses ambulances, hospitals and mosques to wage war.

    The battlefield immunity given to the Red Cross and Crescent is a gentleman’s agreement that has two sides to it. The Red Cross (or Crescent) is displayed as prominently as possible and the promise is made that medical assistance and *only* medical assistance will be given. In exchange, and in exchange for the other side making the same agreement, effort is made not to interfere with those battlefield medics.

    There are other gentleman’s agreements made concerning war. Warriors will remove themselves from the civilian population and wear uniforms to encourage the other side to leave their civilians out of it, prisoners will be treated humanely, civilians will not be targeted.

    It’s reciprocal.

    The *obvious* deception of using these “immune” vehicles to transport weapons and fighters must be hard to resist but it’s an all or nothing thing. If the purpose of them is subverted it stays that way. That’s why US soldiers shot at the ambulance containing Jessica Lynch and were right to do so.

    The *obvious* tactic of wearing civilian clothing and disappearing into the population means that the other side NO LONGER has any reason or responsibility to avoid your civilian population.

    The way you treat prisoners is the best you have any right to expect your own people to be treated if they are captured.

    And shall we talk about that?

    What Hezballa has a *right* to expect if they are captured is a bullet to the brain, but only after extended torture. They deserve to be murdered and dumped.

    Or perhaps, if the captive is a civilian they have the *right* to expect to be made to convert to Christianity or Judaism at gun point with a video made as proof of their conversion before they are released.

    No big deal, huh?

  33. Synova Says:

    Maybe the prisoners at Gitmo should be given a Bible and a choice. Convert or die. A nice video can be made showing the conversion.

  34. Stephen Britton Says:

    “The *obvious* tactic of wearing civilian clothing and disappearing into the population means that the other side NO LONGER has any reason or responsibility to avoid your civilian population.”

    Every able bodies Israeli is a reservist – and military service is mandatory in Israel.

    So by your logic, Hezbollah is quite right in targeting Israeli citiesl…

  35. Synova Says:

    No Stephen… that’s by *your* logic.

    By *your* logic the fact that I served in the military 15 years ago means I’m a “combatant” despite the fact that I’m a 42 year old full time mother. So if some terrorist sneaks over the border from Mexico and blows up my house with me and my children in it by *your* logic I’d be a legitimate military target?

    If I hide a rocket launcher in my garage and fire rockets from my neighbor’s yard and the people I’m fighting blow up my neighbors and my kids and myself, I have no moral standing to condemn them for targeting civilians.

    Somehow I expect that your hero worship of people who use those tactics will prevent you from seeing the difference.

  36. Steve Rosenbach Says:

    “…you’re ignoring the fact that Israel’s occupation of land siezed in violation of International Law is the root cause of the violence …”

    “Land siezed in violation of International Law” – you mean like in 1967, despite pleas to stay out of the war from Israel, the Jordanians started lobbing artillery over the Green Line from the West Bank (then part of Jordan?)

    Where do these guys get their cockeyed view of “International Law” and “The Rules of War?”

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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