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Friday, February 04, 2005

Point Taken

If you want to see how the government and media manufacture consent, just check out any major newspaper on Saturday or any of their web pages today. Both CNN and MSNBC, for example, report as their top stories that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has proclaimed that attacking Iran is "simply not on the agenda."

Sounds reassuring, considering the disaster that is the invasion of Iraq. But read her entire quote to see if you still feel all warm and comfy inside:

“The question is simply not on the agenda at this point.”

At this point.

The three words, which did not make it into the headlines, changes the meaning, because it clearly implies that attacking Iran could become an agenda item at any other point, as decided by the Bush administration.

Headlines are important because many people simple skim the newspaper headlines or the scrolling headlines on the 24-hour news channels, without reading the articles themselves.

There is little doubt where this is going. In Bush's state of the union speech, he called Iran “the world’s primary state sponsor of terror.” The highly respected investigative reporter Seymour Hersh reported recently that the US is already running recon missions in Iran to identify good military targets, with the goal of ensuring we can find some evidence of WMDs to use as a pretext for war that leery US voters will believe, considering that WMDs were falsely used as a pretext for the Iraq invasion.

Hersh's article points to this summer as a starting point for attacks, likely on known or suspected nuclear facilities in Iran. Hersh was the reporter who broke the prison torture scandal in Iraq, and even though the government sought to discredit his story when it was published, he has been proven right by subsequent investigations and court trials of some of the torturers.

CNN and MSNBC are not the only culprits. The Washington Post, The New York Times, ABC News, CBS News, Fox News and even the BBC all ran an identical headline.

Consider your consent manufactured.

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