MEDIA, EXTREMISTS AND CONSPIRACIES
By Cliff Kincaid
March 3, 2010
The Politico piece, “Conservatives Target Their Own Fringe,” attempts to identify various extremists within the conservative movement, including the “militia” movement. Writer Kenneth P. Vogel suggests that they include the Oath Keepers who helped co-sponsor the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC). But Vogel’s effort to link this group to the militia movement, which some people associate with the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, is a charge not backed up by any evidence in the article.
However, the Oath Keepers do have some explaining to do, such as why they associate with Russia Today television favorite Alex Jones, the prominent 9/11 “truther.” Jones may posture as a conservative, but he is anything but one.
Oath Keepers is supposed to include currently serving military, veterans, police officers, and firefighters. “Our oath is to the Constitution, not to the politicians, and we will not obey unconstitutional (and thus illegal) and immoral orders, such as orders to disarm the American people or to place them under martial law and deprive them of their ancient right to jury trial,” the Oath Keepers say. “We Oath Keepers have drawn a line in the sand. We will not ‘just follow orders. Our motto is ‘Not on our watch!’”
The movement is reminiscent of the grass-roots outrage which emerged after Army Specialist Michael New refused orders to deploy to a United Nations-controlled military operation and was court-martialed under the Clinton Administration and discharged for bad conduct. His father Daniel New and I wrote a book about the case, titled, Michael New: Mercenary or American Soldier. Ominously, advisers to Barack Obama have recommended that he order more U.S. troops to serve the United Nations, in violation of the U.S. Constitution, the law, and soldiers’ military oaths.
The trouble is that Oath Keeper Founder Stewart Rhodes and members of his group have closely collaborated with Alex Jones, who is strongly critical of the U.S. military presence in the world and even defended the Russian invasion of the former Soviet republic and now independent country of Georgia. The new Jones film, “Fall of the Republic,” has an “extra” feature promoting the Oath Keepers.
Interestingly, Jones has become a regular on Russia Today (RT), the English-language state-owned TV propaganda channel for the Russian government. Last September Russia Today aired a three-part television series about 9/11 being an “inside job.”
RT, which has a studio in Washington, D.C., broadcasts in New York, Los Angeles, and the Washington, D.C. area on various cable systems.
Russia Today’s Anti-Americanism
More recently, RT has been taking out ads featuring superimposed images of President Barack Obama and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and asking “Who poses the greater nuclear threat?” The implication is that the U.S. nuclear arsenal is as much of a threat—or more—than nuclear weapons in the hands of Muslim fanatics in Iran.
Another RT ad compares U.S. military troops to Islamic terrorists.
Like its Soviet-era predecessors, Russia Today television tends to emphasize stories and interviews that make the United States look bad internationally. As Heritage Foundation scholars Ariel Cohen and Helle C. Dale note in a new study, “The Kremlin is using anti-Americanism as a strategic tool for pursuing domestic and foreign policy goals. Through media controlled or owned by the state, the Russian government is deliberately spreading poisonous anti-U.S. propaganda at home and abroad, blaming many of Russia’s problems on the West, particularly the United States.”
In the report, “Revolution is the Solution,” RT interviewed Carl Dix of the Revolutionary Communist Party about the need for a communist revolution in the U.S. The Russian interviewer sits there stone-faced.
On August 13, 2008, after Russia invaded its former Republic of Georgia, now an independent state, with thousands of troops, RT aired an interview with Gloria La Riva of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, blaming U.S. imperialism for the conflict. Four days later, La Riva was quoted on RT again, urging the U.S. to stay out of the region.
Alex Jones, described as “the U.S. investigative journalist,” was himself on RT on August 26, 2008, insisting that the U.S. “private international military industrial complex” had “launched a sneak attack” on the “Russian enclaves” in Georgia in order to support the “U.S.-backed Georgians [and] the Israeli- and NATO-backed Georgians.” Jones said the U.S. was guilty of “unprecedented crimes” and urged Russia to continue to occupy the regions it had invaded.
“I apologize as an American that we have let our government be taken over like this,” said Jones, who went on to blame “the neo-cons in NATO, in the U.S. and Israel” who “want to have a new Cold War.”
Some of Jones’ other appearances on the Russia Today propaganda network, according to the channel’s website, include:
• April 7, 2009. “U.S. is a puppet of private bankers.” This story, about the Jones film, “The Obama Deception,” claims “America has become a puppet in the hands of private bankers working towards a new world order.”
• April 29, 2009. “Obama is a would-be dictator.” The description reads, “In his first hundred days in office US President Barack Obama has been riding a wave of worldwide support, but not everyone in the US is convinced by his performance, such as prominent radio host Alex Jones.”
• May 20, 2009. “Alex Jones: the Evil Intent of the Bilderberg Club.”
• July 14, 2009. “Soviet and American Leaders were in cahoots.” The description reads, “As radio host Alex Jones alleged in a recent documentary, it’s all supposed to have happened at Bohemian Grove in California, a venue for the world’s controlling elite to rub shoulders.”
• November 23, 2009. “The U.S. Needs a Peaceful Revolution.” The description reads, “In an exclusive interview with RT’s Anastasia Churkina, an American talk radio host and film director Alex Jones reveals an alternative side of recent US policies.” This is about the film “Fall of the Republic.”
• February 6, 2010. “Radio host Alex Jones sees the new steps to protect the US from cyber attacks as attempts to curb the freedom of speech.”
The Alex Jones website www.infowars.net is also consulted by Russia Today television for story ideas, such as when it was cited as the source of the May 2, 2009, claim that U.S. drug companies were responsible for the swine flu outbreak.
“Barack H. Obama, who ran as an anti-war candidate, has continued the war in Iraq, massively expanded the war in Afghanistan, and unleashed a new conflict in Pakistan,” Jones says in his new “Fall of the Republic” film. “Obama is promoting the biggest defense budget in history, dwarfing George Bush’s war machine.”
“Obama expanded Bush’s doctrine of indefinite detention of foreigners without trial,” Jones says, then proving his point by showing a clip of liberal lesbian commentator Rachel Maddow lamenting on her MSNBC-TV program that Obama had endorsed a policy of “prolonged detention” for accused terrorists.
So Alex Jones and Rachel Maddow are both critics of Obama from the left. Perhaps they can appear on each other’s shows.
The Lyndon LaRouche Connection
Jones, who attracts some conservatives to his cause by blending some conservative information into his films, relies heavily on Webster Tarpley, a former member of the Lyndon LaRouche organization which specializes in blaming Zionists, Britain and the Queen of England for the world’s problems. Rather than being any kind of conservative, LaRouche is a former Marxist and Democratic Party presidential candidate who served prison time on financial fraud charges. His group got its start as a faction of the Students for a Democratic Society. It was then known as the National Caucus of Labor Committees.
Back in the 1980s, the LaRouche movement was considered a mouthpiece for a pro-Soviet line in foreign affairs. Its members specialized in confusing conservatives about communist and Soviet intentions.
Tarpley, who appears prominently in “Fall of the Republic,” as well as Jones’ previous film, “The Obama Deception,” wrote a book about Obama insisting that his childhood mentor, Communist Party member Frank Marshall Davis, was not a true Marxist and that Karl Marx himself was a British agent.
Tarpley’s ideas get around on the right and left. At the 2007 national left-wing “media reform” conference, sponsored by the George Soros-funded Free Press, Tarpley’s books were being sold along with volumes by popular “progressives” such as Noam Chomsky and Howard Zinn. Tarpley was a special guest for two hours on the now-bankrupt Air America liberal radio network. His website touts his appearances on the Russia Today television network, including a recent case in which he asserted that “The recent failed attack on a US passenger jet traveling from Amsterdam to Detroit was a set-up provocation controlled by US intelligence…”
Tarpley’s books are available through the interestingly-named Progressive Press.
But don’t look for any stories about how “progressive” collaboration with Alex Jones and Webster Tarpley constitutes a problem for the liberal establishment.
The Nation Magazine’s LaRouche Connection
In this context, it is interesting to note that The Nation magazine, a premier “progressive” publication, features the writings of Robert Dreyfuss, another former LaRouche collaborator.
A contributor to The Nation, TomPaine.com, Mother Jones, and Rolling Stone, Dreyfuss spoke at the New America Foundation on the topic of the “phony clash of civilizations” between Islam and the West. When he worked for LaRouche, Dreyfuss specialized in exposing “Zionist” plots. His current focus is writing against the U.S. “occupation” of Iraq and arguing that the U.S. can accept a nuclear-armed Iran.
The Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel employs Dreyfuss, who writes a blog for the publication, and praises the return of communist “truther” Van Jones to the Center for American Progress. “Yes, it was a misstep to sign a 911truth.org petition,” she writes. “But Jones repudiated his signature and said the petition’s wording didn’t then and doesn’t now represent his views.”
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She says nothing about his involvement in the revolutionary communist STORM (Standing Together To Organize a Revolutionary Movement) organization, which also caused scrutiny of his views, and why his resignation statement was written by White House officials with no input from Jones himself. Information linking Van Jones to Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett and Obama himself appeared just before it was announced that Jones was resigning.
That’s also when our media dropped the story.
© 2010 Cliff Kincaid - All Rights Reserved
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Cliff Kincaid, a veteran journalist and media critic, Cliff concentrated in journalism and communications at the University of Toledo, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
Cliff has written or co-authored nine books on media and cultural affairs and foreign policy issues. One of Cliff's books, "Global Bondage: The UN Plan to Rule the World" is still awailable.
Cliff has appeared on Hannity & Colmes, The O’Reilly Factor, Crossfire and has been published in the Washington Post, Washington Times, Chronicles, Human Events and Insight.