While talking of his feelings of grievance, he chose his words carefully. Very carefully. One could walk away from the Friday sermon, or from the interview, struck by how in his rhetoric he could dance right up to the edge of condoning violence, taking the side of anti-American forces in the Muslim world, and then, just as carefully, reel it back in, pulling the punch, softening the context, covering the sharp-edged scalpel of his words in a reassuring sheath.
It must be incredibly difficult to inform the public of a vague but real terrorist threat without inducing unnecessary panic. That was the line that Mayor Bloomberg and Janice Fedarcyk, FBI Assistant Special Agent, and other officials had to walk when informing reporters on Thursday that there was, in the words of Fedarcyk, a “credible, specific but unconfirmed” terrorism threat planned near the eve of the tenth anniversary of 9/11.
In Marc Ambinder’s National Journal report, the threat was described by senior U.S. counterterrorism official as a plan to detonate car bombs in New York or D.C. An ABC News report added that the plan was by bin Laden successor Ayman al-Zawahiri and that ”authorities are scrambling to sort through information that the CIA developed in the past 24 hours indicating that at least three individuals entered the U.S. in August by air.”
Documentary / War Australia / Great Britain, 2010, 96 min
Directors: John Pilger, Alan Lowery Writer: John Pilger
A powerful and timely investigation into the media’s role in war, tracing the history of embedded and independent reporting from the carnage of World War One to the destruction of Hiroshima, and from the invasion of Vietnam to the current war in Afghanistan and disaster in Iraq.
As weapons and propaganda become even more sophisticated, the nature of war is developing into an electronic battlefield in which journalists play a key role, and civilians are the victims. But who is the real enemy?
John Pilger says in the film: “We journalists… have to be brave enough to defy those who seek our collusion in selling their latest bloody adventure in someone else’s country… That means always challenging the official story, however patriotic that story may appear, however seductive and insidious it is.
For propaganda relies on us in the media to aim its deceptions not at a far away country but at you at home… In this age of endless imperial war, the lives of countless men, women and children depend on the truth or their blood is on us… Those whose job it is to keep the record straight ought to be the voice of people, not power.”