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rosco 357

August 12, 2005 0700 PST (FTW): -- I woke up this morning to a host of panicked and hysterical emails about pending nuclear attacks against US cities; about a multitude of rumors that the US is planning on invading and/or even nuking Iran in the near future. Most of the sources of these reports were so-called Internet “journalists” with absolutely horrible reporting ethics and even worse records of making accurate predictions. Readers should actually check “batting averages” before running amok and encouraging others to do so. How often do these guys get it right? These writers also apparently don’t know the first thing about proper sourcing standards either. Examination of most of these reports reveals rumors, unsubstantiated gossip, unsourced anecdotes, anonymous sources and connections that are so far-fetched as to be laughable. One “journalist” even tried to prove that CNN’s new program “Situation Room” was reason to expect an imminent US attack on Iran or a nuclear attack on a US city by our own government. Give me a break!

I’m not saying that our government isn’t capable of such things. I’m just saying that I refuse to be driven into a state of paralyzed hysteria over such unpersuasive evidence. For the neocons to nuke an American city it would have to be the end of the world as we know it anyway. They wouldn’t gain much after getting everything (all the money they asked for or stole) they demanded to prevent just that: The Patriot Act (now permanent), Homeland Security, Northcom, Iraq, secret tribunals, the authority to impose martial law, etc., etc., etc. You know.

Even Wayne Madsen, a journalist I respect, who does know about sourcing and fact checking has published a story based upon apparently real intelligence briefings stating that the US was actually contemplating a nuclear attack on Iran and the seizure of its oil-rich province, Khuzestan. The report and briefing Madsen described probably did take place and are worthy of reportage for that fact alone. But the events described therein will never take place. Anyone with even a passing actual familiarity with intelligence and covert operations understands that these events are often well-orchestrated government disinformation operations. Wayne did not say whether he believed the reports. He reported on the fact of the reports. Why was something that secret leaked to him in the first place? Why now?


Answering two simple questions should convince you of the same thing. Then you should ask, “What is it that we’re not supposed to be seeing?”

First: Did Iraqi oil production increase or decrease after the US invaded Iraq in 2003 and do you believe it possible for the US to attack Iran (especially with nuclear weapons) and have Iranian oil production remain unchanged? [If your answer yes, please go to your nearest mental health clinic and ask for strong drugs.]

Second: With oil production dramatically falling around the world; and since it is now known that global demand is exceeding supply on a monthly basis, do you honestly believe that China, Japan, Korea, Australia, Britain, India, Malaysia and Europe would permit even the loss of 100 barrels per day of Iranian crude from their own economies? Now, as we see below, there are clear signs that Russian production may also be falling. (FTW has been warning of this for some time). Russia is the world’s second largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia.

Here are the world's ten-largest exporters in million of tons per year (Source: IEA):

Saudi Arabia 353
Russia 137
Norway 137
Venezuela 123
Iran 102
Nigeria 98
UAE 96
Mexico 91
UK 85
Iraq 75

Does anyone believe that any loss of Iranian oil will be tolerated anywhere? Madsen was quite correct when he said that a US invasion of Iran (or even an air attack) would lead almost instantly to strategic nuclear war. In my opinion, everyone that had the delivery systems to do it (maybe even France and Britain) would send everything they had at us – that’s right us – within days if we persisted with such lunacy. Hell, they might even do it preemptively. That, of course, is something the US gave itself the right to do anywhere in the world just after 9/11. Tit-for-tat! It’s only fair Dick.

This flurry of recent scare stories from many places on the Internet and elsewhere is telling in and of itself. Someone has cranked up the “Mighty Wurlitzer” of propaganda to distract our attention. “Bush/Cheney Secretly Indicted” is another totally unsubstantiated and horrible piece of journalism that got legs lately. The headline was based on one source, not in a position of authority, with absolutely no corroboration or verifiable confirmation of any kind. How easily are fools deceived? There’s another story that the removal of an Army four-star general in command of TRADOC (Training and Doctrine Command) was removed not for misconduct, or political reasons, but because he was being mutinous over these invasion plans which are unsubstantiated anyway. There was no sourcing or confirmation for this fear-mongering story either, except those deadly “anonymous” sources known only to the author. In almost eight years, FTW has mentioned anonymous sources only two or three times and then NEVER as a primary or sole source. We would do that only in a confirming second-source role and clearly say that. That’s the rules and we play by them here.

Who are these people writing for? Not me. Not you. I have been in shootings as a police officer. I’m not afraid to take action. But please, give me just a little more to go on before asking me to join you all in hysteria. Journalism is supposed to be a public service, not a public health hazard.

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