mr. zilla goes to town

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

t h e x f l i e s

With the degree of image manipulation going on lately concerning this war, and others, I guess it should hardly come as a surprise that questions, doubts, and conspiracy theories are the next stage of the cycle surrounding the death of Nick Berg.

I don't want to spend much time on this. Whether the video is real and make by terrorists, or staged and made by the US, we're not learning anything fundamentally new.
I'm skeptical that shady parts of the US government apparatus pumped out the video for international standing or domestic political gain. Not because that's utterly implausible, as we've seen they're prepared to sanction some pretty disturbing activity.
Moreso because it's an extremely high risk gambit. Would the public's response be horror and rage at the terrorist enemy, or horror and despair at yet another ghastly story out of Iraq? In terms of domestic public support for the war, I think its a lose-lose. In terms of sympathy or support in the arab world, its a no win.

While on the subject of the integrity of the US military, keep in mind that Sy Hersh's work notwithstanding (and if you're not reading his New Yorker articles every week, you bloody well should be), there was no hardcore investigative action that tore the lid off this story. The leak of the Abu Ghraib photos came from somewhere within the US Army itself. Taguba's damning investigation was complete before the media sniffed the wind. Reporters in Iraq completely failed to jump down the throat of a bland news release on the matter back in February. No, these images were professionally leaked from the Pentagon to multiple reputable sources: CBS' sixty minutes II, the Washington Post, and Hersh. Maybe everything is spin Gra; fat black wax platters of perceptive process you have to spiral inwards through to reach the white labelled fact. But in this town, its good to know that some days not just the devils know how to dance to it.

Still if you think all conspiracy theories are fanciful, have you heard the one about Brood X - the billions strong swarm of insects that has lain in wait since Reagan was President to once again emerge this week and plague the houses of Washington DC and parts of the eastern United States?

Well, it's all too true. I've got the photos to prove it.


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