Worthy and Unworthy Terrorists

My last essay, Nothing Proves Anything, discussed the media's refusal to draw the necessary conclusions from clear facts. This essay discusses a second layer of media failure: the refusal to investigate obviously suspicious situations - usually related to intelligence or Deep State events (i.e., events that can easily be false flags.) - so as to prevent clear facts from emerging. This lack of genuine investigative reporting by the corporate media leaves the field open to conspiracy hucksters, like Alex Jones.Then, the involvement of such grandstanding clowns allows TPTB to just dismiss the whole event as nothing more than CT. That's the playbook: ignore, let fester, dismiss.

Lack of investigative reporting is often the result of TPTB having their thumb on the scale, declaring one terrorist act to be worthy of coverage, while another is not. Corporate journalists stenographers know that their cushy life style depends on them taking cues about what not to cover. This corporate media bias was named by the late Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky in 1988, and the meme continues to be in use on the genuine left:

S. Lendman, Worthy and Unworthy Victims (2007)

That this distinction also applies to terrorists and mass murderers became personal to me today because of a news story about a specific, barely reported incident that happened in late March on a road I used to take to work. The incident looks like an aborted version of the Las Vegas Massacre that I wrote about six months ago. But, even though this story happened in a town 30 minutes drive from my home, I did not see any local news headlines about it. Instead, I heard about it when a story about yet another eerily-similar incident in Honolulu by the CT site (intellihub) was posted on ZeroHedge.

"Federal Agent On A Mission"? Man With Body Armor, Large Cache Of Weapons Caught In Waikiki Hotel

The Waikiki story mentioned an earlier, similar incident:

Man with CDC ties, DoD clearance, and a large weapons cache says he was on a ‘secret mission dealing with a virus’ when he was apprehended
Picture of captured weapons

This story, regarding one Francho Bradley, is the one that happened in late March in the little bedroom community of Tewksbury, MA.

If you google {"Francho Bradley",Tewksbury}, you get a brief three-day flurry of TV news stories (and one story in one of the local rags, the Lowell Sun) immediately following the arrest (which I obviously missed), and then NOTHING. Nobody investigating, while Bradley and wife remain in jail without bail in the same podunk town where this happened. You might think that this story is newsworthy, since it involves an arsenal of illegal weapons, a guy flashing a phony DoD badge and claiming to be on a mission to stop a virus (with an arsenal of guns? WTF?). You might think that Bradley's lawyer might want to issue a statement, and that the media would report that. Clearly, you would be wrong.

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As I said above, the only post-event coverage of this story was a story posted by Intellihub. If you google Intellihub, it turns up in CT land, right next to Prison Planet. So, you have to tread carefully.

The corporate media show the same pictures of the weapons and report the bare, if barely believable, facts of the arrest. As someone noted, who calls the police to check a room chock full of guns and then tells them they are on a secret government mission? Two choices: a fruitcake or an Oswald-style patsy. Notice that the Honolulu guy also thinks he is a government agent:

Police and FBI are investigating a 38-year-old man after finding a large cache of weapons during a raid of a Waikiki hotel room after authorities were alerted of several disturbing social media posts in which the man claimed to be a federal agent who’s hunting terrorists.

If there is any ongoing corporate coverage on either of these stories, I expect it to be along the lines of "copycat loner nutcase". CT land is already putting the story through a meat grinder. Bradley is now a "CDC agent"; and, in classic CT style, they are dragging in the dead CDC employee in Atlanta as somehow related. Intellihub sounds sane by comparison:

It also seems likely that all three men were working under the FBI’s direction and may have been cut loose or detached for reasons unknown (possibly to be used as patsies).

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So, the Tewksbury story is a version of a self-pre-empted Las Vegas massacre. And the corporate media, down to the local level is telling us: Nothing to see here. Move along. Events like this demonstrate why, as a democracy, we are lost - because people are no longer informed by a genuine free press.

The moment we no longer have a free press, anything can happen. What makes it possible for a totalitarian or any other dictatorship to rule is that people are not informed; how can you have an opinion if you are not informed? If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer. This is because lies, by their very nature, have to be changed, and a lying government has constantly to rewrite its own history. On the receiving end you get not only one lie—a lie which you could go on for the rest of your days—but you get a great number of lies, depending on how the political wind blows. And a people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please.

- Hannah Arendt, Hannah Arendt: From an Interview.

There you have "nothing proves anything" stated 45 years ago by Ms. Arendt. In her words "nobody believes anything".

I just saw that logic in action in a podunk town down the road from me. I simply do not have enough information to make up my mind. I cannot judge what happened. If this guy is just a lone nutbag, why can't I get any further information? The lack of media coverage gives credibility to the CTers, who are at least interested in the event. But, equating eyeball-seeking CT sites with a free press is a mistake.

I would be grateful if anyone has any genuine facts to add to either this incident or the one in Honolulu. Also, any information about Intellihub would be helpful. {We all know what ZH is Sad }

That's all I have, and its scary that it is all I have.

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arendt's picture

Ensyma Engineering & Francho Bradley: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

There is a lot of (unverified) interesting detail in this article. Namely:

1. Ensyma’s Website Prominently Displays Trademarks for the CDC, Department of Energy, Medical Countermeasures Systems, & CERN
2. Bradley Didn’t Want to Tell Police What Ensyma Does, But His Lawyer Later Said He Sells Comms Devices to the Military & Other Clients
3. Frank Bradley Is Included in a WikiLeaks Database of Government Intelligence Workers
4. Bradley Has Worked in Disaster Preparedness and His Resume Lists Helping the FDA on Virus Response Teams
5. WhoIs Lists Ensyma as the Owner of a Website that Discusses Race Issues

I'm pretty sure this is the detail that turns up in all the later CT blogs.

The question for me is "who is Heavy"? Here is some info from the "about" page of Heavy:

Heavy was established in 1999 by Simon Assaad and David Carson.

In 1997 the duo worked together on the team that produced the IBM eBusiness campaign, which won the Interactive Grand Prix and two Gold Lions at Cannes, One Show, Clio and London Advertising awards.

In 1999 Assaad and Carson launched Heavy.com as one of the first broadband video entertainment platforms.

TeamHeavy launched the music network Fuse, LIFE magazine and AOL Music. In 2004 TeamHeavy was consolidated into Heavy.com.

In 2012 Heavy.com pivoted from original video entertainment to real-time news and information appealing to a broad audience. From 2012 to 2016, with a new team led by Editor-in-Chief Aaron Nobel, the site’s audience has grown from 3 million to 35 million organic unique visitors per month.

So, they are a very corporate, very hipster advertising shop. Sounds sorta like Quartz. Very plugged in to bigtime global corporations. And they are very good at audience manipulation:

One of Heavy's hallmarks is how it weaves advertising into the animated experience of moving around the site. Each time a user clicks to move to a new section, an ad briefly moves to fill the screen. When a video begins to play, the ad remains as a frame around the video...

While advertisers initially want to run their existing commercials on Heavy, Mr. Assaad said, many soon learn that less-intrusive forms of advertising can get five times the number of people to click on them. At first, though, the advertisers bristle to hear this.

NYT, (2006)
A Web Site So Hip It Gets Laddies to Watch the Ads

So, at this point, I do not trust these people to tell me the truth. Therefore, I wonder why they decided to publish this interesting list of unverified facts - when no one else in the corporate media was touching the story.

Bottom Line: If I want more than the raw facts in the police report, my only choices are slick corporate hipsters or CT websites.

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arendt's picture

@arendt

Its hard to find out much about Heavy, and that is deliberate.

For one thing, Heavy.com has a bit of the look and feel of a content farm—a site stuffed with a large quantity of low-quality information, designed to appeal more to a search engine than to human intelligence. Many of its headlines appear plucked from some dashboard of trending Google search terms...

So what’s behind Heavy’s rapid growth? Without the participation of its editors in this story, it’s hard to make any definitive claims as to where its traffic is coming from. A 2006 New York Times profile of the site doesn’t help much, because it was entirely different back then. But it isn’t hard to guess the biggest secret to its resurgence: search engine optimization. In this respect, too, Heavy is something of an anachronism...

When you see Heavy.com’s posts appear above those of more established rivals in Google results, you might assume that it has found some new loopholes in the search engine’s algorithm. But that isn’t necessarily the case. Rather, its success on Google may simply be a product of the relevance, timeliness, and relative reliability of its content—exactly the things Google’s algorithm is supposed to be optimizing for. To the extent Heavy.com is optimizing for search traffic, its secrets may lie more in story selection, presentation, and timing than in any kind of technical trickery.

Editorially, it does not aim to be comprehensive. Rather, it seems to focus on a handful of broadly popular topics that many elite, national publications tend to overlook or eschew—along with straight news and politics. It focuses especially on people and stories that are just entering the public consciousness from a state of relative obscurity—a sound strategy, insofar as there tends to be less information readily available about these subjects when the story breaks. In those respects, it seems to be filling a genuine unmet need—or at any rate, an unmet want—among large swaths of the news-reading public. That’s what distinguishes it from a content farm.

Five Fast Facts You Need to Know About Heavy.com
How an obscure news site began dominating your Google search results.

Great, we have a low-profile entity that gets into a topic early and manages to drive the discussion via Google news. Wouldn't the CIA love to own a shop like that? Just sayin.

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edg's picture

Frank (Francho) Bradley has a listing on Linkedin. He's been an 'independent consultant' to Ensyma for 26 years. Lived and worked in Texas. MS from George Washington University. Volunteered with FEMA. Works as a 'Solution Architect and Project Delivery Manager'. His Linkedin profile is very sane and relatively well-written (other than a heavy overuse of capitalization If You Know What I Mean).

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arendt's picture

@edg

On his LinkedIn page, Francho Bradley lists his name as “Frank (Francho) Bradley” with ENSYMA Engineering, a graduate of The George Washington University School of Business, from Coppell, Texas. He describes himself as having extensive IT experience, including: “Experienced Solution Architect and Project Delivery Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology and services industry. Skilled in Budgeting, Operations Management, Requirements Analysis, Government, and Emergency Management. Strong business development professional with International Experience and a Master of Science / Business and Public Management focused in Program Management from The George Washington University – School of Business.” Since 1992, he’s worked as an independent consultant with Ensyma, and he speaks four languages.

Talk about title inflation, how does a business school justify a Master of Science degree for 'business and pulbic management'? But that's life on LinkedIn, where everyone is overstating their qualifications.

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The two Bush invasions of Iraq are certainly examples. The red scare of the 1940s and 1950s are an example and now we have Russia, Russia, Russia. There are active conspirators like Karl Rove and Dick Cheney, and there are enablers. The media go along because the reporters are some combination of careerist, stupid and cowardly. The population as a whole only gets inadequate and often false information. The sorts of things that you mention in your essay are exacerbated by the facts that the news media have been depleted of reporters and many of those that remain are shallow, corporate types. On top of this, the messages of the MSM (and some alternative media) are highly managed. There are acceptable things to talk about and unacceptable things. And, of course, there is convenient selective amnesia. (Saddam is our enemy. He has always been our enemy.)

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arendt's picture

@Roy Blakeley

It's quite clear the news of this event is being, as you put it, "managed". The question is by whom and why. Unfortunately, asking those questions without the missing facts lands you in downtown CT-land. I can think of several CTs.

1) The Hawaii guy and the Massachusetts guy are deliberate, after-the-fact muddying of the waters for the government "failure" (this avoids the CT about the event) to spot the guy in Las Vegas. With these two nuts in jail, the government's record in catching such nuts is two out of three.

2) This guy, like the LV guy, is a high-functioning person with deep ties to the security state, complete with a website that looks made for CT. So, TPTB want to make this story disappear. No Fed involvement. Just nail his ass on State charges of illegal weapons possession, and bury the claims of "being on a mission" with an accusation of being a head case.

3) Full on CT: This guy was going to commit some false flag, and then he was going to be the patsy; but he screwed up (or he figured out he was going to be the patsy and deliberately screwed up). And, as the Mission Impossible trailer said, "if you are caught we will deny any knowledge of you".

In the end, without reliable facts, all I can do is what Ms. Arendt says - not believe anyone.

But most people are gullible. And advertising has proven that if you repeat a lie often enough people get tired of contesting it; and the lie stands. So here is what gets normalized:

All kinds of under-medicated kooks have access to arsenals of automatic weapons; many of these guys have ties to law enforcement, like the FBI. Don't be surprised or outraged; that's all normal. Don't wonder why DHS and FBI didn't do their jobs (it was local cops who busted this guy); just get used to the new normal. And be afraid, but praise the FBI/DHS.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

...that when it comes to narratives that are incomplete or logically flawed, the most uninformed or misinformed segment of our society seems to be our elected representatives? The great majority of them seem quite innocent of the issues and supporting data. Time after time, the daily news is filled with conflicts of logic and mismatched facts from just a day earlier. Surely everyone has noticed how common that has become, yet our elected representatives have noticed nothing of the sort. When they are cornered in interviews and when they must weigh in, they fumble with canned narratives, and parrot snippets of latest news they happened to hear, along with an array of false assumptions.

It is the obvious lies and propaganda that are pushed along with news-based issues that is causing the people consternation. Their representatives appear to be part of the problem. One would expect that if anyone could cut through the crap coming out of the media monopolies, it would be the person they sent to DC. But, the majority of them seem unable to grasp the problem, which has caused the American people to distrust the news — or they try to explain it away with tossed word salads they blab with authority.

Basically, they all sound like Maxine Waters.

For a long time, I thought they were wise to the big picture and privy to the power channels that are running the place. They must be aware that every phone call they take is recorded and every email they write is scooped up by the NSA. Obviously, they know they can be personally or professionally ruined if they take a wrong step, say the wrong thing, or try to expose the corrupt war profiteers, the Wall Street financiers, or the propaganda-pushing media monopolies. That point was driven home in the completely sabotaged Trump White House. I mistook the fearful evasiveness of elected representatives for brute stonewalling. I thought they were too preoccupied with concealing their wealth-grabbing insider trading and quid pro quo donor fundraising to build a frank relationship with their constituents; too corrupted to tell them straight why the changes they expected in government were not going to happen right away.

What I've noticed is that ordinary people are more informed about the facts underlying the news than their elected representatives are, and their constituents know a hell of a lot more about how the legislation they pass will impact the People.

The Propaganda Model Revisited, recently published in Monthly Review offers critical insights to the questions posed here about how to defeat it. It's really a very good piece.

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arendt's picture

@Pluto's Republic
He was a solid leftwing analyst who, unlike Chomsky, did not attract vehement and polarizing criticism that obscured the actual subject under discussion. He had a cool objectivity that was the perfect foil for all the accusations of conspiracy theory.

It is fair to point out that my confusion is but a miniscule part of the overall fog of propaganda. However, I still am motivated to find out what is going on with all these lone nut shooters with bizarre backgrounds that don't fit the stereotypical loser. I remain puzzled by how quickly the country has moved on from the LV massacre. There are so many fishy, unanswered facts there. Have TPTB decided we need a massacre a month, tied up in a clean corporate explanation, just to keep the terrorist (except that none of these lone nuts are Moslems) narrative in play while inflaming both pro- and anti-gun advocates? I confess, I have not done my homework for LV. I should get an official list of the victims and cross-check that with death records.

I have to say that reading the essay you linked depressed me. (So has the fact that this essay has sunk like a stone. I guess I'm learning that c99p is not excited about such events.) The propaganda problem, excellently described by Herman in 1988 has only gotten worse. The forces of the left are reduced to almost non-existence while corporate concentration and domination have been amplified by the internet. Investigating obscure events like Francho Bradley is hardly going to result in a blow to the system; I'm just satisfying my personal curiosity/ aggravation at being lied to.

Thanks for taking the time to write your comment. I appreciate the feedback.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@arendt

It's disruptive and disturbing. I don't think people have the fortitude to contemplate it. One has to build up to such things. I read the conspiracy group on Reddit at different times. You may find some of what you are looking for, there. It's worth a search. Today's discussions would give Hannah Arendt pause, not that any of it would come as any surprise to her. She had foresight and intuition.

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arendt's picture

From what I scanned, it seems tamer than ZeroHedge. That's because the discussions don't get very deep, and its moderated so they don't get mouth-breather insulting.

On the topics chosen, Moon of Alabama has the most intelligent comment section, with many lengthy and informed opinions. But the range of topics is limited, and CT as the main topic doesn't happen much - although Russiagate as establishment-CT is discussed frequently.

Over the decades, I have gotten burned out reading comments sections. It feels like endless channel surfing, because successive emails mostly don't fall into a linear conversation.

It seems to me that neither the tightly controlled blog websites that don't let the discussion get too deep, nor the anything-goes comment sites that can become incoherent are taking advantage of the full power of the internet. (Just now noticing that I did not see the old Reddit format where each comment had numbers of up/down votes and so did the commenter. That used to help one get the sense of the community.) Not sure what the correct balance between moderation and freedom of speech is. Certainly do not want some algorithm deciding it.

The internet feels like radio before "The War of the Worlds" broadcast. People do not appreciate how powerful the technology really is. They just think it is entertaining. The flaps over Cambridge Analytica or the California serial kiler caught via some ancestry website are just the initial awareness of the problem. But the CA flap is being minimized because it contradicts the Russiagate narrative, and the serial killer falls into the "Jose Padilla" category of {make sure to use a vile person as a test case when implementing new components of the police state}. IMHO, if the public ever wakes up, it will be long after the cyber Panopticon is completely installed (if it isn't already).

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