Tall Tale Revealed?; Or, Perhaps, Another “Poison Pill”?

tall_tale_revealed?
PF Boston Globe December 24, 2005
Student’s tall tale revealed;Confesses fabricating US surveillance story
By Jonathan Saltzman
It rocketed across the Internet a week ago, a startling newspaper report that agents from the US Department of Homeland Security had visited a student at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth at his New Bedford home simply because he had tried to borrow Mao Tse-Tung’s ”Little Red Book” for a history seminar on totalitarian goverments.
The story, first reported in last Saturday’s New Bedford Standard-Times, was picked up by other news organizations, prompted diatribes on left-wing and right-wing blogs, and even turned up in an op-ed piece written by Senator Edward M. Kennedy in the Globe.
But yesterday, the student confessed that he had made it up after being confronted by the professor who had repeated the story to a Standard-Times reporter. The professor, Brian Glyn Williams, said he went to his former student’s house and asked about inconsistencies in his story. The 22-year-old student admitted it was a hoax, Williams said. ”I made it up,” the professor recalled him saying. ”I’m sorry. . . . I’m so relieved that it’s over.”
The student was not identified in any reports. The Globe interviewed him Thursday but decided not to write a story about his assertion, because of doubts about its veracity. The student could not be reached yesterday. Williams said the student gave no explanation. But Williams, who praised the student as hard-working and likeable, said he was shaken by the deception.”I feel as if I was lied to, and I have no idea why,” said Williams, an associate professor of Islamic history. He said the possibility the government was scrutinizing books borrowed by his students ”disturbed me tremendously.”
The story stems from an incident in the fall in a history seminar on totalitarianism and fascism taught by a colleague of Williams, Robert Pontbriand. The student, who was in the seminar, told Pontbriand he had requested an unabridged copy of ”Quotations From Chairman Mao Tse-Tung” through the UMass interlibrary loan system for a research paper. Days later, he told Pontbriand, he was stunned to get a visit by Homeland Security agents who told him the book was on a ”watch list” and asked why he wanted it. Pontbriand was appalled. ”A university is a place for the open inquiry for the truth,” he said.
The story quickly made its way around the history department, and it might have stayed on campus if The New York Times had not broken a story about President Bush’s approval of a controversial domestic spying program. After that story, a Standard-Times reporter called Williams, who has traveled to Afghanistan for research, to ask whether he was concerned about government surveillance, Williams said. As an afterthought, Williams said, he told the reporter about the alleged visit by the Homeland Security agents, and that became the lead of the Dec.17 Standard-Times story.
John Hoey, spokesman for UMass-Dartmouth, said the university did not expect to take any action against the student. ”This was a conversation that took place between a student and his faculty members,” Hoey said. Dan Rosenfeld, managing editor of the newspaper, declined to comment yesterday, saying that the paper considered it a ”competitive news paperstory.”
The university issued a statement Monday defending academic freedom, but said it had had no visits from Homeland Security agents and no record of anystudent seeking the Mao book through an interlibrary loan. The student later told the professors he had requested the book at UMass-Amherst. But officials there said UMass-Dartmouth students cannot use their ID cards at the Amherst library and that all interlibrary requests are made by the libraries, not students.
A Homeland Security spokeswoman in Washington said she had no record of any interview of a UMass-Dartmouth student and pointed out that the department does not have its own agents.
An FBI spokeswoman in Boston also expressed doubt. That didn’t stop it from buzzing around the Internet and even being picked up by Kennedy, who cited it as the latest example of the Bush administration’s intrusion on civil liberties. ”Incredibly, we are now in an era where reading a controversial book may be evidence of a link to terrorist,” he wrote in an op-ed piece in Thursday’s Globe. Laura Capps, a Kennedy spokeswoman, said last night that the senator cited ”public reports” in his opinion piece. Even if the assertion was a hoax, she said, it did not detract from Kennedy’s broader point that the Bush administration has gone too far in engaging in surveillance.
Jonathan Saltzman can be reached at jsaltzman@globe.com.
DAN RATHER AND THE “POISON PILL”
by Jim Craven (Omahkohkiaayo i’poyi)
It is an old intelligence game–“the poison pill”–that is known to be a favorite of Karl Rove. It works in the reverse of the old “salting the mine” (planting a bit of gold to make a baren mine look potentially full of gold) where a given story pregnant with deadly truths is given additional potential “deady truths” that later will turn out to be hoaxes thus tainting and compromising a whole story and the deadly truths–that are indeed truths–in it.
When a story is getting out of hand and causing a threat to elements of one’s own base (e.g. National Guard and Reserve Troops possibly getting turned off with the preppy moron Bush’s favored treatment when he was sort of in the Texas Guard), you plant some documents that appear authentic and are potentially quite damaging to your own cause, let the scoop-obsessed media run with it for awhile, then pull the plug at a propitious moment showing that the planted documents are forgeries thus “poisoning” not only the documents but the whole story as well.
The whores (with all due respect to “sexworkers”) in the “mainstream” media (whose own spiral of SUCKcess in media requires ACCESS to newsmakers, to get the next “SCOOP”, in order to get more EXPOSURE, in order to become a bigger NAME, in order to get even more expanded ACCESS...) will apologize all over the place for having been “sucked in” with “forged” documents.
The story, then, will shift to the forged nature of the planted documents (it is never asked who initially planted the documents and who would have the knowledge and expertise to make them initially appear to be credible–like the infamous “Niger document on Saddam Hussein supposedly trying to buy yellowcake uranium for nuclear weapons) and not what the documents were about, whether or not the CONTENT of those documents was correct or the implications if the content of the story was correct.
During the 1980 election the same thing was done with the “October Surprise” story. When the evidence mounted that Reagan-Bush had cut a deal with elments in Iran to keep American hostages until after the election to deny Carter an electoral victory, and when “respected” analysts like Gary Sick were joining in so that it became more than just another “conspiracy theory”, up stepped Richard Brenneke (who had real bona fides has a former CIA Contract pilot and indeed a pilot for Poppy Bush) to say that he had flown Bush 41 to a secret meeting in Paris that Bush claimed he never attended.
It all looked very lethal and damaging for Bush 41 (who was unable to document where he claimed to have been) until, supposedly to research the story, a novice reporter was given access to Brenneke’s personal papers (by Brenneke), including gas receipts, and voila, this novice reporter, “discovers” a gas receipt showing Brenneke in Orergon on the day he claimed to have flown Poppy Bush to Paris. The story explodes, Brenneke is thoroughly discredited, and all of a sudden the WHOLE story, irrefutable facts and all, is discredited and consigned to the realm of nut case “conspiracy theory.”
The CBS story about Bush’s illustrious Guard “service” is nothing more than but a replay of this previous “poison pill” scenario with a compliant mainstream press and a lot of really dumb people falling into line and taking their eyes off the irrefuatable facts and their real implications.
-Jim C
James M. Craven
Blackfoot Name: Omahkohkiaayo-i’poyi
Professor/Consultant,Economics; Business Division Chair
Clark College, 1800 E. McLoughlin Blvd.Vancouver, WA. USA 98663
Tel: (360) 992-2283;
Fax: (360) 992-2863
Employer has no association with private/protected opinion
“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the presentcontrols the past.” (George Orwell)
“…every anticipation of results which are first to be proved seems disturbing to me…
(Karl Marx, “Grundrisse”)
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About jimcraven10

About jimcraven10 1. Citizenship: Blackfoot, U.S. and Canadian; 2. Position: tenured Professor of Economics and Geography; Dept. Head, Economics; 3. Teaching, Consulting and Research experience: approx 40 + years all levels high school to post-doctoral U.S. Canada, Europe, China, India, Puerto Rico and parts of E. Asia; 4. Work past and present: U.S. Army 1963-66; Member: Veterans for Peace; former VVAW; Veterans for 9-11 Truth; Scholars for 9-11 Truth; Pilots for 9-11 Truth; World Association for Political Economy; Editorial Board International Critical Thought; 4.. U.S. Commercial-Instrument Pilot ; FAA Licensed Ground Instructor (Basic, Advanced, Instrument and Simulators); 5. Research Areas and Publications: International law (on genocide, rights of nations, war and war crimes); Imperialism (nature, history, logic, trajectories, mechanisms and effects); Economic Geography (time and space modeling in political economy; globalization--logic and effects; Political Economy and Geography of Imperialism); Indigenous versus non-Indigenous Law; Political Economy of Socialism and Socialist Construction; 6. Member, Editorial Board, "International Critical Thought" published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; International Advisory Board and Columnist 4th Media Group, http://www.4thMedia.org (Beijing); 7. Other Websites publications at http://www.aradicalblackfoot.blogspot.com; wwwthesixthestate.blogspot.com;https://jimcraven10.wordpress.com; 8.Biography available in: Marquis Who’s Who: in the World (16th-18th; 20th; 22nd -31st (2014) Editions); Who’s Who in America (51st-61st;63rd-68th(2014) Editions); Who’s Who in the West (24th- 27th Editions);Who’s Who in Science and Engineering (3rd to 6th, 8th, 11th (2011-2012) Editions); Who’s Who in Finance and Industry (29th to 37th Editions); Who’s Who in American Education (6th Edition). ------------------- There are times when you have to obey a call which is the highest of all, i.e. the voice of conscience even though such obedience may cost many a bitter tear, and even more, separation from friends, from family, from the state, to which you may belong, from all that you have held as dear as life itself. For this obedience is the law of our being. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
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