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DOUBT FORECLOSED: U.S. MAINSTREAM MEDIA AND THE ATTACKS OF SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
Unformatted Document Text:  Doubt Foreclosed 23 Chin, 2002), and of the delay in establishing a commission of inquiry into intelligence “failures” (Martin, January 24, 2002). Congressional Intelligence committee hearings, their initial staffing closely controlled by the CIA, heard evidence in secret from June 2002. Proposals for an independent commission were initially unsuccessful, later backed by the White House in face of mounting demand from senators and WTC victims’ families, only to be impeded once more by the White House in October, 2002. Mainstream media either failed to pick up on or to aggressively pursue: AP’s June 2002 story of Judicial Watch’s suing of the White House for details of the distribution of anti-anthrax serum to White House staff on September 11, 2001; the “Not in My Name” peace movement of leading U.S. artists and intellectuals; nor the Jamie Doran television documentary chronicling U.S. participation in the massacre of thousands of surrendered Taliban fighters at Qala-i-Janghi (Steinberg, 2002), and though this was, finally, the subject of a graphic CNN documentary on August 3, 2002, the channel did not go so far as Randall (2002) in describing the events as “an indictment of the US military and government for war crimes in direct violation of the Geneva Conventions and international law.” By contrast, media did report the somewhat more complex issue of the slaughter of Taliban by suffocation in containers on route to Sheberghan prison, Newsweek journalists Babak Dehghanpisheh, John Barry and Roy Gutman noting that the incident raised “questions about the responsibility Americans have for the conduct of allies who may have no interest in applying protections of the Geneva conventions” (pp. 23-24). Few media kept abreast of civil lawsuits by relatives of those killed in the 9-11 attacks, seeking redress from the government and airline companies for their negligence in failing to prevent the attacks, or Bush Administration and Department of Justice attempts to suppress evidence that could be used in discovery proceedings (Gilberti, 2002). Media did not pursue inexplicable failures of air defense strategies during 9-11 (Goff, 2001), even though defense strategies to protect against such attacks were in place for the July 2002 G8 meeting in Genoa (as reported in the Los Angeles Times, September 27, 2001 and quoted by Ruppert, 2002) and for the 1996 Olympics. There were issues concerning the possible downing by F-16 missile of Flight 93 (the one that crashed in a field in Philadelphia) that appear only to have been pursued on a web-site, www.flight93crash.com, and which even conspiracy theory debunker David Corn (2002) later described as a “sober look at the anomalies that have led people to wonder if the last plane, the one in Pennsylvania, was blasted out of the sky”. The allegedly accidental downing of Flight 587 over New York on November 11

Authors: Boyd-Barrett, J..
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Doubt Foreclosed
23
Chin, 2002), and of the delay in establishing a commission of inquiry into intelligence “failures” (Martin,
January 24, 2002). Congressional Intelligence committee hearings, their initial staffing closely controlled
by the CIA, heard evidence in secret from June 2002. Proposals for an independent commission were
initially unsuccessful, later backed by the White House in face of mounting demand from senators and
WTC victims’ families, only to be impeded once more by the White House in October, 2002. Mainstream
media either failed to pick up on or to aggressively pursue: AP’s June 2002 story of Judicial Watch’s suing
of the White House for details of the distribution of anti-anthrax serum to White House staff on September
11, 2001; the “Not in My Name” peace movement of leading U.S. artists and intellectuals; nor the Jamie
Doran television documentary chronicling U.S. participation in the massacre of thousands of surrendered
Taliban fighters at Qala-i-Janghi (Steinberg, 2002), and though this was, finally, the subject of a graphic
CNN documentary on August 3, 2002, the channel did not go so far as Randall (2002) in describing the
events as “an indictment of the US military and government for war crimes in direct violation of the
Geneva Conventions and international law.” By contrast, media did report the somewhat more complex
issue of the slaughter of Taliban by suffocation in containers on route to Sheberghan prison, Newsweek
journalists Babak Dehghanpisheh, John Barry and Roy Gutman noting that the incident raised “questions
about the responsibility Americans have for the conduct of allies who may have no interest in applying
protections of the Geneva conventions” (pp. 23-24). Few media kept abreast of civil lawsuits by relatives
of those killed in the 9-11 attacks, seeking redress from the government and airline companies for their
negligence in failing to prevent the attacks, or Bush Administration and Department of Justice attempts to
suppress evidence that could be used in discovery proceedings (Gilberti, 2002).
Media did not pursue inexplicable failures of air defense strategies during 9-11 (Goff, 2001), even
though defense strategies to protect against such attacks were in place for the July 2002 G8 meeting in
Genoa (as reported in the Los Angeles Times, September 27, 2001 and quoted by Ruppert, 2002) and for
the 1996 Olympics. There were issues concerning the possible downing by F-16 missile of Flight 93 (the
one that crashed in a field in Philadelphia) that appear only to have been pursued on a web-site,
www.flight93crash.com, and which even conspiracy theory debunker David Corn (2002) later described as
a “sober look at the anomalies that have led people to wonder if the last plane, the one in Pennsylvania, was
blasted out of the sky”. The allegedly accidental downing of Flight 587 over New York on November 11


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