Wednesday, August 31, 2005

HOW TO IDENTIFY MISINFORMATION

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Cartoon by Elaine Meinel Supkis

By Elaine Meinel Supkis

This is not a joke (hahahaha) but real. The State Department has issued a warning for us about people lying about things like...9/11 or the reasons for us invading Iraq or the anthrax attacker who only attacked people Bush wanted to terrorize or people wondering how many minutes (more than twenty) Bush sat reading "My Pet Goat" and other "misinformation and urban legends."

From the State Department:
Consider the source
Oh my god, I am really going to die laughing!
Certain websites, publications, and individuals are known for spreading false stories, including:

&spades Aljazeera.com, a deceptive, look-alike website that has sought to fool people into thinking it is run by the Qatari satellite television station Al Jazeera
Yeah, like as if we want the REAL Aljazeera broadcasting--- in between murdering their reporters and photographers and deliberately targetting them and then lying about it all...can't trust them to report stuff, yeah. Gods. Of course, they were on certain neo-con hit lists, literally. I got all my news during the illegal attack on Iraq from al Jazeera! Now the official station is muzzled by the Americans.
&spades Jihad Unspun, a website run by a Canadian woman who converted to Islam after the September 11 attacks when she became convinced that Osama bin Laden was right.
Another group the Israelis want to shut down somehow. They can't lob bombs at her home in Canada...
&spades Islam Memo (Mafkarat-al-Islam), which spreads a great deal of disinformation about Iraq.
Can't have us reading those pesky Iraqis! That is a no-no. We are supposed to read and believe those many State Department statements about WMD and other do-dads.

(More details on Islam Memo and Jihad Unspun in English and Arabic.)

There are many conspiracy theory websites, which contain a great deal of unreliable information. Examples include:

&spades Rense.com
He started out years ago with mild examinations about Israel's Mossad/anti Palestinian activities and now is totally anti Zionist to a startling degree. He is way out there but is also way out in general. I find a lot of interesting weird stuff at his site. I plow through lots of dross looking for gold all over the place including at the New York Times, for example (heh, everyone is a mess these days!).

&spades Australian “private investigator” Joe Vialls, who died in 2005
Dead investigator alert. Gads, I have personally known more than one...

&spades Conspiracy Planet
Yeah! My buddies! Luv ya all! Keep it up!

&spades Extremist groups, such as splinter communist parties, often publish disinformation. This can be especially difficult to identify if the false allegations are published by front groups. Front groups purport to be independent, non-partisan organizations but actually controlled by political parties or groups. Some examples of front groups are:

&spades The International Action Center, which is a front group for a splinter communist party called the Workers World Party
&spades The Free Arab Voice, a website that serves as a front for Arab communist Muhammad Abu Nasr and his colleagues.
(More details on Muhammad Abu Nasr in English or Arabic.)
I am so pissed off. I am not on this list! I will have to break the bad news to Mad Cow, too, that he is also off the list. And the wonderful people running the Memory Hole!

Who are the stupid slackers in the State Department dissing us? Seriously. I grew up inside the govenment, where the CIA and State Department cross wires! They know me! They have many files on me!

And I didn't make the list. (Hanging head in shame) Rats. I have to try harder. All you must help me make this list!

For a bunch of lying, thieving war mongers, if the truth ever crosses their lips, they get the Golden Scapegoat award and are hounded out of office or run over by stray cars or murdered or something. Certainly, ask Ambassador Wilson and his wife, Valerie Plame!

The list also looks like it was drawn up by my old nemisis, Horowitz. I knew him in Berkeley and we used to correspond over at Salon.com for a while until he ended up screaming at me.

Well. I see my efforts have failed yet again.

Of course, this is a State Department site so they have to start in with the rank lies. This sub section really pisses me off on a million levels:
There are many exaggerated fears about depleted uranium because people associate it with weapons-grade uranium or fuel-grade uranium, which are much more dangerous substances. When most people hear the word uranium, a number of strongly held associations spring to mind, including the atomic bomb, Hiroshima, nuclear reactors, radiation illness, cancer, and birth defects.

Depleted uranium is what is left over when natural uranium is enriched to make weapons-grade or fuel-grade uranium. In the process, the uranium loses, or is depleted, of almost half its radioactivity, which is how depleted uranium gets its name. But facts like this are less important in peoples’ minds than the deeply ingrained associations they have with the world “uranium.” For this reason, most people believe that depleted uranium is much more dangerous than it actually is. (More details on depleted uranium in English and Arabic.)

Another highly controversial issue is that of forbidden weapons, such as chemical or biological weapons. The United States is regularly, and falsely, accused of using these weapons. (More details on this in English and Arabic.)
Read carefully this pot pourie of lies. They say there is only half of the uranium so they can poo poo obvious evidence about how this kills and maims? Huh?

Like saying this cup of poison is only half full so it won't kill you?

We have lots of information clearly showing how people who worked with and used these blasted bullets produce deformed babies. And many are suffering health problems, themselves! Like Agent Orange, we knew it was toxic and bad and caused deformities and brain damage and etc since 1972! But getting the State Dept and Pentagon to admit this...nada! Even today, we recently turned down Vietnam's request for us to pay for poisoning them and we pretended there was no case, sort of like the Japanese are doing to their victims of WWII atrocities.

I want to be on that list. Now.
Oh, and about those pesky lies: From CNN
A former top aide to Colin Powell says his involvement in the former secretary of state's presentation to the United Nations on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction was "the lowest point" in his life.


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