L. Neil Smith's

Number 24, March 15, 1997.

The Military Industrial Media
The Internet

60 Minutes Anti-conspiracy Slop Job

By Ian Williams Goddard

Special to The Libertarian Enterprise

         The major media have launched a disinformation war designed to smear the Internet. The Internet represents a heretofore unparalleled level of informational competition for the major media. A primary pretext for these Internet attacks focuses on the "conspiracy theories," or alternative news and views, that the Net allows the public to freely access and express.
         Most recently the CBS program 60 Minutes (03/02/97), using false and misleading claims, attacked conspiracy theories and alternative information on the Internet such as my work.
         60 Minutes anchor Lesley Stahl, while arguing for the removal of undesirable information such as mine from the Internet, promoted the hysteria-inducing fear that freedom of access to conspiracy theory is a threat to the minds of the children.
         After showing my TWA 800 web page with my name prominently displayed, Lesley Stahl pointed a finger at the lead graphic I created (http://www.erols.com/igoddard/twa-fact.htm) saying:

Stahl: Shouldn't this be expunged ?

Guest: On what grounds?

Stahl: That it's wrong, that it's inaccurate, it's irresponsible, that it is spreading fear and suspicion of the government; 10,000 reasons.

Guest: Ooh, sedition I see. So it's anti-government, so it spreads fear. But who should regulate it? ...

Stahl: So you think it's better to leave all this junk out there?

         Now let's see how accurate the claims of 60 Minutes are. My graphic, or "junk," which 60 Minutes calls "wrong" and "inaccurate," contains one sentence making three claims:

(1) The "streak of light" reported to "hit the plane"

(2) "followed the course like the outline of a parabola"

(3) not unlike a guided missile.

(1) The New York Times (07/19/96) said that eyewitnesses reported a "'streak of light' hitting the plane just before it blew up." An eyewitness I've interviewed, Roland Penney, told Newsday (09/01/96) that "the thin white line" that raced upwards toward TWA 800 "hit that plane." This is just a small sample (more here: http://www.erols.com/igoddard/twa-fact.htm) of the massive body of available missile-witness accounts that 60 Minutes wants you to believe are "wrong" and "irresponsible."

(2) As quoted on my web page, The New York Times (07/19/96), citing the evidence that "the airplane was hit by a missile fired from a boat," reported the following:

Paul Angelides, who lives in West Hampton Beach... saw what he described as a "red meteor with a smoke tail" that followed the course like the outline of "a parabola."

(3) A streak of light that shoots across the sky leaving the smoky and curving trail cited in claim 2, is by definition "not unlike a guided missile." The two primary possibilities are that this streak is (a) a meteorite or (b) a missile. The radical degree of curvature sighted in my graphic, which is consistent with most accounts, eliminates (a) leaving (b); and therefore it is indeed most like a guided missile.

         That's the kind of logical analysis CBS wants to have "expunged" from the human record because it spreads fear about the government, and specifically about the U.S. Navy, which the owner of CBS, Westinghouse, works for [1].
         So, each and every claim I make that 60 Minutes would like you to believe is "wrong," "inaccurate," and "irresponsible," is IN FACT logical, true, and accurate according to over 150 eyewitness accounts cited in major media sources. Therefore, the claims of 60 Minutes are, to the contrary, the only claims proven to be false and inaccurate.

What 60 Minutes Is Not Telling You

         While Lesley Stahl may have laughed at web pages claiming that the major media are not telling all about TWA 800, the fact is that the major media routinely suppress verifiable information that should spread fear of the government.
         For example, CBS has the Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) video from Waco, TX (4/19/93) that shows the FBI shooting machine-guns into Mount Carmel, the Branch Davidian's home, most heavily as the fire started and people tried to escape.
         Not only has a top FLIR expert evaluated the video [2], concluding that it shows gunshots toward the building, but according to Gordon Novel (head of investigation in the Ramsey Clark Waco lawsuit, who acquired the FLIR video from the quickly dead former head of CIA, Bill Colby) CBS even had the video examined by the independent laboratory Infraspection Institute of Berlington, VT, which also concluded that the video shows machine-gun fire toward the building. 60 Minutes did its homework and was ready to run the FLIR video with the findings.
         However, Novel reports [3] that all it took was an angry call from the Justice Department for CBS and 60 Minutes to cave-in and opt instead to suppress the truth by not running the FLIR program. Because it seems CBS does not want to spread any fear or suspicions about the government, CBS viewers can be sure never to see the shocking FLIR video.
         Contrary to Ms. Stahl's laughter at the claim, the major media, even her own program, are willfully suppressing powerful evidence against the US government and in so doing are willing to sacrifice the interests of the American people for the security of those in power with the blood of men, women, and children all over their hands. Then, after covering up mass murder in Waco, 60 Minutes moves on to smear and suppresses evidence suggesting that the US government killed all 230 people aboard TWA 800. The pattern is clear: serve the State, screw the people.

Major Media vs The Internet

         While the major media work to smear the Internet as an unreliable source of lies and rumor, the facts are that the Internet has proven to be more reliable in terms of getting the truth out more quickly than the major media.
         A case in point is the recent coverage the ABC program 20/20 (01/17/97) gave to the compelling evidence of foreknowledge by the federal government of the Oklahoma City bombing [4]. While 20/20 called this report "an exclusive investigation," the fact is that every detail they "scooped" could have been found on the Internet a year beforehand. Indeed, ABC took the credit for the leg-work of many grass-roots investigators, whom the major media had been smearing previously as the "paranoid nuts" that lurk about in the dark and fearful world of the Internet.
         The chaotic dynamics of Internet-information processing is light-years ahead of the major media, which can only hope to keep pace with the rapidly evolving information structures that form the electronic world of cyberspace.

Dynamics of Informational Freedom

         As on-line researcher Thomas Shoemaker [5] observes [6], the process-focused nature of the Internet's informational structure renders the Net too dynamic and fast-paced for the outdated product-oriented media behemoths, which the Internet threatens to cut down to size:

The media of which Lesley Stahl belongs to is failing. They achieved dominance years ago, when there was less competition from other information systems: their main worry was about what other members of their monopoly were doing. Now they are in decline and denial. They have and continue to view the "news" as a "product" which is massaged, molded, dressed up, packaged, promoted, and then delivered to the consumer as a finished commodity.

The internet is perceived as a threat by Lesley, her co-workers and their bosses, because it is not product-focused, but process-focused. They cannot successfully cope with the creative, turbulent decentralization of the internet...it is just too free for them. Their idea of news is an address to the peasants (us) from the royal family (the media, of course).

         The process nature of Internet informational structure allows a story to unfold spontaneously in such a way that the whole decentralized society is free to become active participants in a public investigation and analysis of available facts, free to make the input that Lesley Stahl wants "expunged" from the human record.
         But even as their Internet smear campaign, frequently focusing on TWA 800, may signal a fear in CBS of the chaotic and spontaneous nature of informational freedom, CBS may smear those proposing that TWA 800 was hit with a U.S. Navy missile simply because CBS is owned by the large military-industrial-complex contractor, Westinghouse, which works for the U.S. Navy [1].

On The Internet, Good Information Drives Out Bad

         The fear that bad information threatens the good on the Internet fails to observe that over time and with the input of thousands of minds, we have a greater ability than ever to see all sides of the story. The instant input of so many people who know parts or all of a given topic allows the Internet as a whole to more quickly drive out bad information than the major media where few are permitted input.
         When I write an essay and post it to the Internet, instantly people with other ideas or expertise in an area I cover can critique it for all to evaluate. While many replies offer only empty insults expressing rage rather than constructive analysis, on the whole, this system of automatic feedback and input accelerates the process of "social learning."
         The major media of all varieties make their case in forums that are insulated from the instantaneous and equally visible input and critique of others. It's exactly as Tom Shoemaker observed previously, that the major media wants to address the public like the royal family addresses its sea of peasants, where rebuttal is discouraged and denied.
         To a larger degree than at any time in human history, the Internet puts us all on the same level; the Internet is a great equalizer. Let us honor this gift to humanity, not disparage it as those who still live in the old ways seek to disparage the new and empowering media that is the Internet.

[1] CBS/Navy link: http://www.westinghouse.com/indst/h_gesc.htm Found on cited CBS webpage (03/09/97): "Westinghouse Government Operations manages several sites owned by the federal government. US Navy sites managed by Westinghouse Government Operations:
(1) Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,
(2) Plant Apparatus Division near Pittsburgh,
(3) Machinery Apparatus Operation in Schenectady, New York."

[2] FLIR analysis and testimony of Dr. Edward Allard as filled in court:

[3] AMERICAN FREEDOM: 1(8) p 11. http://www.amerifree.com

[4] Review of 20/20 report: http://www.jbs.org/vo13no04.htm#okc

[5] Thomas Shoemaker's TWA 800 research page: http://www.webexpert.net/rosedale/twacasefile/default.htm

[6] Thomas Shoemaker comments on the Internet to Flight 800 list: http://home.dc.lsoft.com/scripts/wa.exe?A2=ind9703&L=flight-800&P=1786

[7] More examples major media attacks on Internet-conspiracy theory: http://home.dc.lsoft.com/scripts/wa.exe?A2=ind9611&L=flight-800&O=A&P=14831

IAN GODDARD (igoddard@erols.com) Q U E S T I O N A U T H O R I T Y
VISIT Ian Goddard's Universe -----> http://www.erols.com/igoddard

(c) 1997 Ian Williams Goddard (*) free to copy nonprofit w/attribute.

TWA 800: THE FACTS --> http://www.erols.com/igoddard/twa-fact.htm

WACO - WTC - OKC ---> http://www.erols.com/igoddard/facts.htm

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