The Unofficial Campaign’s Latest Disinformation Offensive
One thing that one can say about the Obama administration is that it has no shame. In Libya, on this year’s anniversary of 9/11, a makeshift American consulate in Benghazi was successfully attacked by a large mob armed with rocket launchers, and an energetic, dedicated young American ambassador was assassinated. In response, our President, his Secretary of State, and their minions have assiduously sought to deflect attention from the fact that, as Der Spiegel so aptly puts it, “Obama’s Middle East Policy Is in Ruins,” and they have done so by attempting to pin the blame on a hapless Coptic Christian, resident in California, who put up on YouTube some time ago a video highly critical of Islam. I wonder what they would be doing had the perpetrators of this crime used as a pretext the no less anti-Islamic film Religulous made by big-time Obama donor Bill Maher.
In support of the administration’s attempt to deflect attention from the defects of its policy, our Department of Justice, which is by now little more than an arm of the President’s re-election campaign, has responded by having its subordinates track down and identify the film-maker, release his name and that of at least one of his associates to the press, and haul him in after midnight to check whether he has violated the terms of probation imposed on him two years ago in a bank fraud case. And, of course, the mainstream press – which constitutes this year, as it did four years ago, what one Journolist member in 2008 accurately termed Barack Obama’s “unofficial campaign” – has loyally fallen in line, reporting that the video “sparked” the disturbance in Benghazi and intimating thereby that the attack was a spontaneous outburst.
All of this is meant to obscure the obvious – that the attack was planned well in advance. To begin with, it is not fortuitous that it took place – months after the video was posted – on 11 September. Nor can it have been the case that the perpetrators simply picked up in a fit of righteous anger the rocket launchers in their closets. Equipment of this sort is rarely ready to hand. Moreover, if the attackers bagged an American ambassador, it was surely because they had advance warning of his visit, and this means in turn that they had excellent intelligence of the sort that presupposes the cooperation of someone inside the consulate or the inside the embassy in Tripoli.
To get an inkling of the truth, one must turn from the intrepid investigative reporters associated with Pravda-on-the-Hudson, Pravda-on-the-Potomac, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, and, alas, The Wall Street Journal, who have done little more than to reprint administration handouts, to the foreign press – where one learns that “The killings of the US ambassador to Libya and three of his staff were likely to have been the result of a serious and continuing security breach” and that “the US State Department had credible information 48 hours before mobs charged the consulate in Benghazi, and the embassy in Cairo, that American missions may be targeted, but no warnings were given for diplomats to go on high alert and ‘lockdown,’ under which movement is severely restricted.” Moreover, one must turn to a blogpost to discover that our State Department is in the grip of panic: “The working assumption is that several American embassies may have been penetrated, or are vulnerable to attack, because so many of them rely on local residents for staff needs at the embassy, and as such may be in a position to breach security if they have been recruited by Al Qaida.”
The American people cannot be allowed to discover that Barack Obama’s policy of appeasement has persuaded our enemies that we are weak and feckless and has elicited aggression on their part. Nor can they be allowed to learn that Hillary Clinton and our minions have been grossly negligent with regard to the security of our embassies, consulates, and other installations in the larger Muslim world. Instead, we must ignore the spirit of the First Amendment and vent our wrath on an inept Coptic Christian immigrant from Egypt.
For the most part, the press’s contribution to the administration’s disinformation campaign is deliberate and calculated. But one must not underestimate the role played by stupidity. Consider Peggy Noonan. She fell hook, line, and sinker for the administration’s disinformation campaign, and in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal she wrote the following:
Whatever the exact impact of the anti-Muhammad hate film that went viral, we have entered an age of would-be Princips.
Gavrilo Princip of course was the assassin who killed the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife on June 28, 1914. He was 20, largely friendless and small in stature. He pulled the trigger that killed the archduke which led to the ultimatums that brought the war that misshaped the 20th century. From his act sprang nine million dead, Lenin at the Finland Station, the fall of Russia, the rise of communism, World War II, the Cold War . . .
Maybe all those things would have happened anyway, one way or another. We'll never know. All we know is how it did begin, with one young man and a gun.
Now in the age of technology, with everything disseminated everywhere instantly, it isn't one man with a gun but one man with a camera, or a laptop, or a phone.
To be a Princip is to feel power, whatever the cost to others. It is to need to get your point out there, whatever the price others pay. A Princip has a high sense of authority—he is in possession of urgent truths—and no sense of responsibility.
The maker of the videotape that contributed to the rioting in Egypt is a would-be Princip, as is the American pastor, Terry Jones, who burned the Quran.
We are going to have to think about antidotes to and answers for the new Principism. Because it's not going to go away.
Notice what Noonan did and what she failed to do. She did not compare the murderers of our ambassador with the assassin who killed the Archduke Ferdinand, and she did not suggest that they be hunted down and killed. Instead, she singled out a resident of the United States who exercised in a provocative and obnoxious manner his right under the First Amendment to vigorously criticize a religion he did not like, and she intimated that something comparable to the retribution due Gavrilo Princip should be visited upon the film-maker and anyone who imitates his example.
You do not have to agree with the outlook permeating the video produced by this Coptic Christian to think that we as Americans should honor and protect his right to freedom of speech; and, for the record, I think his contribution to public discourse even more reprehensible than Bill Maher’s Religulous – for Maher did not attempt to pass off his own disgraceful work as something sponsored by an ethnic group to which he did not belong – and I regret that the Copt produced the video. But what Peggy Noonan appears to be advocating – and what the Department of Justice is evidently attempting – is nothing short censorship.
I read that Google has been asked by the administration to remove the video from YouTube and has refused to do so. Good for them.
Whatever we do, we should not let anyone – whether foreigners in the Muslim world or the spinmeisters in our own government – dictate what we can think and say.