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21st Century Wire
Worse Than Williams: NBC, Richard Engel and Their Fake Syrian Kidnapping Story
April 27, 2015
By 21wire 8 Comments
21st Century Wire says…
“Syria is one of the biggest propaganda schemes of our time. When the dust settles, if it does, it will be revealed” – Professor AbuKhalil
“Journalists are never real journalists if they are agents of power no matter how they disguise that role.” – John Pilger
As bad as those ‘war theater’ lies by Brian Williams and Bill O’Reilly are, this howler by NBC and their ‘trusted’ reporter Richard Engel – is much worse by far.
Keen to help Washington in its all-out campaign for regime change in Syria, we can now see very clearly – to what lengths major US media outlets are were willing to go, by using a completely contrived situation to publicly demonize the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
Let’s be clear. We’re not just talking about mere spin here. Broadcast executives knowingly facilitated the concocting of a false narrative which just happened to fit perfectly into Washington’s own neatly arranged foreign policy objectives at that very moment…
Back in December 2012, Engel claimed he was kidnapped along with four other journalists while traveling inside Syria by “pro-Assad Shi’ite forces”. Engel went on to claim how his “pro-Assad” captors brutally tortured reporters and even killed their ‘Free Syrian Army’ rebel chaperone, before eventually being “rescued” by other rebels. Engel did endless rounds in the US media retelling his sensational tale, skillfully crafting a narrative of suffering at the hands of the evil and merciless “Syrian government”, and “Iranian-aligned Shi’ite forces”.
This week, the story finally collapsed. It turns out that Engel was at the very least an unquestioning (journalist?) dupe or ‘useful idiot’ in this saga. We’re told he is fluent in Arabic and a veteran international correspondent, so it really doesn’t really make sense that he would be so stupid as to fall for such a transparent charade. At worse he could also be a knowing accomplice to it. One cannot say if he was definitely in on the ruse, but it’s more than safe to say that he played a staring role in a giant US media propaganda exercise, himself voluntarily inserting faux ‘Shi’ite’ and ‘pro-Hezbollah’ talking points into his narrative. Not surprisingly, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and others happily swallowed this scripted account, over and over. Two and a half years later, the principle players finally admit it was fake. Investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept reports:
“As it turns out, that seems to be exactly what happened. Last night, Engel posted a new statement on the NBC News website stating that, roughly one month ago, he had been contacted by The New York Times, which “uncovered information that suggested the kidnappers were not who they said they were and that the Syrian rebels who rescued us had a relationship with the kidnappers.” That inquiry from The NYT caused him to re-investigate the kidnapping, and he concluded that “the group that kidnapped us was Sunni, not Shia” and that “the group that freed us” — which he had previously depicted as heroic anti-Assad rebels — actually “had ties to the kidnappers.”
“NBC officials knew at the time that there was reason to be highly skeptical of the identity of the captors, but nonetheless allowed Engel and numerous other NBC and MSNBC reporters to tell this story with virtually no questioning.”
By definition, this was a false flag kidnapping.
“The Brian Williams scandal is basically about an insecure, ego-driven TV star who puffed up his own war credentials by fabricating war stories: it’s about personal foibles. But this Engel story is about what appears to be a reckless eagerness, if not deliberate deception, on the part of NBC officials to disseminate a dubious storyline which, at the time, was very much in line with the story that official Washington was selling (by then, Obama was secretly aiding anti-Assad rebels, and had just announced – literally a week before the Engel kidnapping — “that the United States would formally recognize a coalition of Syrian opposition groups as that country’s legitimate representative”). Much worse, the NBC story was quite likely to fuel the simmering war cries in the West to attack (or at least aggressively intervene against) Assad.”
That’s a pretty comprehensive assessment of what went down, and this also hints at coordination – at a very high level – between the mainstream media and the US government.
SPOOKS NOTE: For those versed in the art of grifting and professional con artistry, this type of Kansas City Shuffle scam would require that at least one member of the kidnap victims’ party be in on the con, so as to ensure that the rest of group stayed in line and didn’t do anything stupid during the staged operation.
Without a doubt, this is a prime example of the CIA’s Operation Mockingbird [AD note: Operation Mockingbird under the “national security state” installed since 1947 through the CIA production company controls the media and was created by Allen Dulles and Cord Meyer. Operation Mockingbird was established during the early 1950s. Operation Mockingbird was initially organized by Cord Meyer, and was later led by Frank Wisner after Allen Dulles became the head of the CIA. Allen Dulles learned that “the biggest of secrets can be kept secure among the largest of groups.”] in action – from beginning to end – a purely fake story, created and designed to cajole both public and also mainstream media opinion over towards the US State Department’s stated goal of regime change in Syria.
Greenwald adds here: “At the very least, NBC owes a serious accounting for what happened here, yet thus far refuses to provide one (note how, as usual, the media outlets who love to sanctimoniously demand transparency from others refuse to provide even a minimal amount about themselves). There were — and are — a lot of shadowy interests eager to bring about regime change in Syria and to malign Iran and Hezbollah with false claims. Whether by intent or outcome, that’s what this story did. If it was not only false at the time, NBC executives repeatedly broadcast it, but recklessly disseminated with ample reason to suspect its falsity, that is a huge journalistic scandal.”
The rest of the US mainstream media mockingbirds will not touch this story in the same way they did with egomaniacs Brian Williams and Bill O’Reilly. [AD note: Bill O’Reilly faked a news story that he was standing on the porch outside the house of the daughter of George de Mohrenschildt and heard the shot when George de Mohrenschildt was alleged to have shot him himself inside the house in 1977. George de Mohrenschildt was a “White Russian” highly trained intelligence operative who spoke five languages and penetrated, or was given access to, the highest circles in American power structures after he arrived in the US in New York in 1938. During WWII, the “White Russians” supported and often worked with the German Nazis.] In classic ‘WWF’ fashion, CNN’s ‘hard-hitting ‘senior’ political correspondent and host of “Reliable Sources” (yes, that’s the actual title of the show), Brian Stelter, spent weeks lamenting over NBC’s Williams and chasing FOX’s O’Reilly, which achieved nothing in the end other than making Stetler appear “tough” on FOX. Will the ‘hard-hitting’ Stetler dare touch the Engel story with even a portion of the theatrical zeal he unleashed on O’Reilly? Probably will not. Firstly, because if he did, it would open up CNN to criticism for doing the exact same scam (perpetrated by the network against its audience) when it proudly paraded its prized ‘Syrian Opposition’ figure, named Danny Dayem, aka ‘Syrian Danny’ (strangely, he speaks with a noticeable London accent), who has since disappeared from public view. Danny was CNN’s go-to guy, a self-described “opposition activist” making regular appearances via satellite and even in-studio, with Anderson Cooper and others – lobbying for the US and NATO to ‘join in’ by arming, or intervening to help him and his merry band of upstart “moderate rebels” aka the ‘Free Syria Army’. It was all going swimmingly well, until video was leaked which showed Danny operating out of make-shift sound studio somewhere in Syria (or Turkey?) complete with fake gun and mortar fire audio sound effects, coordinating with CNN producers on the other line – in essence creating fake ‘on the ground’ news reports from behind the lines. CNN should have lost its broadcast license for this, just as NBC should too, but it pretty evident that regulations do not apply to major media outlets.
Watch CNN and Danny’s fake broadcasts here:
Consortium News explains who’s behind the bevy of fake “activists” attached to the ‘Syrian Spring‘:
“Syrian dissidents received funding from the Los Angeles-based Democracy Council, which ran a Syria-related program called the “Civil Society Strengthening Initiative” funded with $6.3 million from the State Department. The program is described as “a discrete collaborative effort between the Democracy Council and local partners” to produce, among other things, “various broadcast concepts.” James Prince, the founder and President of the Democracy Council, is also an adviser to CyberDissidents.org, a project created in 2008 by the Jerusalem-based Adelson Institute for Strategic Studies, founded and funded by Sheldon Adelson, a patron and confidant of Benjamin Netanyahu. Other resources include postings on social media and alternative websites with sensational stories such as the anti-Assad activist “Gay Girl in Damascus” who turned out to be a middle-aged American man in Scotland or Syrian Danny Abdul Dayem, who was frequently interviewed using fake gun fire and flames in his interviews.”
CNN would never dare expose its own role in Washington’s ‘regime change’ soap opera in Syria, alongside the entirety of the US mainstream media – all of whom have gladly worked in concert to promote each and every one of the US State Department’s deceptive talking points about ‘moderate rebels’ in Syria, allowing both ISIS, al Nusra, and other known terrorist brigades in Syria, much-needed time to build-up their ranks and gain traction throughout the region. Yes, the US and western media were crucial in making this process happen from 2011 until now.
It’s evident now how “respected” NBC journalist Richard Engel had a bias in favor of the ‘rebels’ (via The Intercept):
NBC’s security advisers were convinced that there was some FSA involvement in this and contacted wealthy Syrian-American donors of the rebel group, pointing out that Richard had been supportive of the uprising against Assad.
Hardly ‘objective’, here we can see how Engel plays the gray role of activist, or ‘change agent’, albeit, embedded inside a major media outlet. But that’s not all. He also appears to have initially lied about witnessing his captors being killed during his heroic rescue (all part of weaving the kidnapping myth). The fact that Engel has changed his story about this very important detail (a crucial detail which effectively ‘glued’ the NBC false narrative together) should indicate that he was aware of the false narrative, if not involved in it. The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald adds here:
“On a different note: as I noted above, Engel claimed repeatedly that the anti-Assad rebels killed some of his pro-government captors when rescuing him. He stated the same thing in a Vanity Fair article he wrote recounting his kidnapping. But as The New York Times notes today, Engel now acknowledges that he never saw a body:
For any readers who may doubt the existence of Operation Mockingbird, or that top US media outlets are working in full coordination with entities like the US State Department and the CIA – this story should put those doubts to rest.
Verdict: NBC, along with the other media majors, have been caught promoting another war overseas. They did it in Iraq, they’ve done it with Syria, and they’re also doing it with the Ukraine.
Most of what we see and hear from our ‘trusted’ media is fake…
NBC’s Conduct in Engel Kidnapping Story is More Troubling than the Brian Williams Scandal
Throughout 2012, numerous American factions were pushing for U.S. intervention in Syria to bring down the regime of Bashar Assad, who throughout the War on Terror had helped the U.S. in all sorts of ways, including torturing people for them.
But by then, Assad was viewed mostly as an ally of Iran, and deposing him would weaken Tehran, the overarching regional strategy of the U.S. and its allies. The prevailing narrative was thus created that those fighting against Assad were “moderate” and even pro-Western groups, with the leading one dubbed “the Free Syrian Army.”
Whether to intervene in Syria in alliance with or on behalf of the “Free Syrian Army” was a major debate in the West through the end of that year. Then-Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee John Kerry was openly discussing ways for the U.S. to aid the rebels to bring about regime change. Sen. Joe Lieberman was saying: “I hope the international community and the U.S. will provide assistance to the Syrian Free Army in the various ways we can.” Then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, while ruling out direct military intervention, said: “[W]e have to redouble our efforts outside of the United Nations with those allies and partners who support the Syrian people’s right to have a better future.”
A U.N. resolution calling for Assad to step down was supported by NATO states but vetoed by China and Russia, who were concerned that it would be depicted as a “regime change” endorsement to justify Western military intervention. By the following year, John Kerry, by then Obama’s secretary of state, was arguing that direct U.S. military action in Syria against Assad — a full-scale bombing campaign — was a moral and strategic imperative.
As it turns out, the “moderate” “Free Syrian Army” was largely a myth. By far, the most effective fighting forces against Assad were anything but “moderate,” composed instead of various Al Qaeda manifestations and even more extreme elements. After the U.S. and its Gulf allies funded and armed those groups for a while, the U.S. did ultimately go to war in Syria, but more in alliance with Assad than against him…
READ MORE ON MSM PROPAGANDA AT: 21st century Wire Propaganda Files
Related and supplementary reading:
This is the 1997 Preface
L. Fletcher Prouty’s book
The Secret Team
PREFACE: “THE SECRET TEAM II” 1997
Like it or not, we now live in the age of “One World”. This is the age of global companies, of global communications [AD note: AD has repeatedly brought this to the attention of people by exposing large communications-related corporations that control vast networks like Serco.] and transport, of global food supply and finance [Finance and banking have taken over the “national security state” enforced by the military and private military contractors currently operating with extreme aggressiveness like we are seeing in Ukraine.] and … just around the corner … global accommodation of political systems. In this sense, there are no home markets, no isolated markets and no markets outside the global network.
It is time to face the fact that true national sovereignty no longer exists. We live in a world of big business, big lawyers, big bankers, even bigger money-men and big politicians. It is the world of “The Secret Team” and its masters. We are now, despite common mythology to the contrary, the most dependent society that has ever lived, and the future of the viability of that infrastructure of that society is unpredictable. It is crumbling.
As one of the greatest historians of all time, Ibn Khaldun, wrote in his unequaled historical work The Muqaddimah of the 14th Century:
God created and fashioned man in a form that can live and subsist only with the help of food … Through cooperation, the needs of a number of persons, many times greater than their own number, can be satisfied.
As this One World infrastructure emerges it increases the percentage of our total dependence upon remote food production capacity to the mass production capability and transport means of enormous companies operating under the global policy guidance of such organizations as the Chartered Institute of Transport in London, and the international banking community. As individuals, few of us would have any idea where to get a loaf of bread or yard of fabric other than in some supermarket and department store … and we are all dependent upon some form of efficient transport, electric power, gasoline at the pump, and boundless manufacturing capacity and versatility. Let that system collapse, at any point, and all of us will be helpless. A cooperating, working system is essential to survival; yet over-all it is a system without leadership and guidance.
At the same time the traditional family farm, and even community farms and industries, have all but vanished from the scene. This has created, at least in what we label, the advanced nations, a dearth of farmers and of people who have that basic experience along with that required in the food and home products industries. Furthermore, as this trend is amplified, the transport of farm produce has become increasingly assigned to the trucking industry, which has its over-land limits … mostly as applied to the tonnage limits of rural bridges, and the economical availability of petroleum.
As a result, something as simple as a trucking industry strike that keeps trucks out of any city for seventy- two hours or more, will lead to starvation and food riots. None of us know where to get food, if it is not in the nearby supermarket; and if we do have a stored supply of food locked in the cellar, we shall simply be the targets of those who do not. Food is the ultimate driving force. Under such predictable conditions, there will be waves of slaughter and eventually cannibalism. Man must eat, and the only way he can obtain adequate food supplies is through cooperation and the means to transport and distribute food and other basic necessities. This essential role is being diminished beyond the borderline. The lack of food supplies has already resulted in a form of covert genocide in many countries. Other essential shortages unavoidably follow.
As Rudyard Kipling has said: “Transport is Civilization.” The opposite is equally true, “Without reliable transport we are reduced to the state of barbarism.”
These are fundamental statements of fact. In such a world, the Secret Team is the functional element of the dominant power. It is the point of the spear and is neither military nor police. It is covert: and the best (or worst) of both. It gets the job done whether it has political authorization and direction, or not. In this capacity, it acts independently. It is lawless. It operates everywhere with the best of all supporting facilities from special weaponry and advanced communications, with the assurance that its members will never be prosecuted. It is subservient to the Power Elite and protected by them. The Power Elite or High Cabal need not be Royalty in these days. They are their equals or better.
Note with care, it is labeled a “Team”. This is because as with any highly professional team it has its managers, its front office and its owners. These are the “Power Elite” to whom it is beholden. They are always anonymous, and their network is ancient and world-wide. Let us draw an example from recent history.
During the Senate Hearings of 1975 on “Alleged Assassination Ploys Involving Foreign Leaders,” Senator Charles C. Mathias’ thoughts went back to November 22, 1963 and to the coup d’etat brought about by the surgical precision of the death of President John F. Kennedy, when he said:
Let me draw an example from history. When Thomas Becket (Saint Thomas Becket, 1118-1170) was proving to be an annoyance, as Castro; the King said “Who will rid me of this man?” He didn’t say to somebody, go out and murder him. He said who will rid me of this man, and let it go at that. (As you will recall, Thomas Becket’s threat was not against the King, it was against the way the King wanted to run the government.)
With no explicit orders, and with no more authority than that, four of King Henry’s knights, found and killed “this man”, Saint Thomas Becket inside of his church. That simple statement … no more than a wish floating in air … proved to be all the orders needed.
Then, with that great historical event in mind, Senator Mathias went on to say:
… that is typical of the kind of thing which might be said, which might be taken by the Director of Central Intelligence or by anybody else, as Presidential authorization to go forward … you felt that some spark had been transmitted …
To this Senator Jesse Helms added:
Yes, and if he had disappeared from the scene they would not have been unhappy.
There’s the point! Because the structure, a “Power Elite”, “High Cabal” or similar ultimate ruling organization, exists and the psychological atmosphere [Through CIA production company operations like Operation Mockingbird to achieve objectives through the media.] has been prepared, nothing more has to be said than that which ignites that “spark” of an assumed “authorization to go forward.” Very often, this is the way in which the Secret Team gets its orders … they are no more than “a wish floating in air.”
This book is about a major element of this real power structure of the world and of its impact upon the CIA and its allies around the world. It is based upon much personal experience generally derived from my military service from mid-1941 to 1964: U.S. Army Cavalry, U.S. Army Armored Force, U.S. Army Air Corps and Army Air Force, and finally the U. S. Air Force; and more specifically from my special assignments in the Pentagon from 1955 to 1964. At retirement, I was the first Chief of Special Operations with the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. All of these duties, during those Pentagon years, were structured to provide “the military support of the world-wide clandestine activities of the CIA.” They were performed in accordance with the provisions of an Eisenhower era, National Security Council Directive No. 5412/2, March 15, 1954.
Since this book was first published in 1973, we have witnessed the unauthorized release of the Defense Department’s official” history of United States involvement in Vietnam from World War II to 1969″ popularly known as the “Pentagon Papers,” “Watergate” and the resignation of President Nixon, the run away activities of the “Vietnam War,” the “Arab Oil Embargo” that led to the greatest financial heist in history, the blatantly unlawful “Iran Contra” affair, and the run-away banking scandals of the eighties. Many of these were brought about and master minded by renegade “Secret Team” members who operated, without Presidential direction; without National Security Council approval so they say; and, generally, without official Congressional knowledge. This trend increases. Its scope expands … even today.
I pointed out, years ago in public pronouncements, that the CIA’s most important “Cover Story” is that of an “intelligence” agency. Of course the CIA does make use of “intelligence” and its assumed role of “intelligence gathering,” but that is largely a front for its primary interest, “Fun and Games” … as the “Old Boys” or “Jedburgh’s” of the WW II period Office of Strategic Services (OSS) called it.
The CIA is the center of a vast, and amorphous mechanism that specializes in Covert Operations … or as Allen Dulles always called it,”Peacetime Operations.” In this sense, the CIA is the willing tool of a higher level High Cabal, that may include representatives and highly skilled agents of the CIA and other instrumentality’s of the government, certain cells of the business and professional world and, almost always, foreign participation. It is this ultimate Secret Team, its allies, and its method of operation that are the principal subject of this book.
It must be made clear that at the heart of Covert Operations is the denial by the “operator,” i.e. the U.S. Government, of the existence of national sovereignty. The covert operator can, and does, make the world his playground … including the U.S.A.
Today, in the mid-1990’s, the most important events of this century are taking place with the ending of the “Cold War” era, and the beginning of the new age of “One World” under the control of businessmen and their lawyers, rather than under the threat of military power and ideological differences. This scenario for change has been brought about by a series of Secret Team operations skillfully orchestrated while the contrived hostilities of the Cold War were at their zenith.
Two important events of that period have been little noted. First, on Feb. 7, 1972 Maurice Stans, Nixon’s Secretary of Commerce opened a “White House Conference on the Industrial World Ahead, A Look at Business in 1990.” This three-day meeting of more than fifteen hundred of the country’s leading businessmen, scholars, and the like were concluded with this memorable summary statement by Roy L. Ash, president of Litton Industries:
… state capitalism may well be a form for world business in the world ahead; that the western countries are trending toward a more unified and controlled economy, having a greater effect on all business; and the communist nations are moving more and more toward a free market system. The question posed during this conference on which a number of divergent opinions arose, was whether ‘East and West’ would meet some place toward the middle about 1990.
That was an astounding forecast as we consider events of the seventies and eighties and discover that his forecast, if it ever was a forecast and not a pre-planned arrangement, was right on the nose.
This amazing forecast had its antecedent pronouncements, among which was another “One World” speech by this same Roy Ash during the Proceedings of the American Bankers Association National Automation Conference in New York City, May 8, 9, 10, 1967.
The affairs of the world are becoming inextricably interlinked … governments, notably, cannot effectively perform the task of creating and distributing food and other essential products and services … economic development is the special capability and function of business and industrial organizations … business organizations are the most efficient converters of the original resources of the world into useable goods and services.
The flash of genius, the new ideas, always comes from the marvelous workings of the individual brain, not from the committee sessions. Organizations are to implement ideas, not to have them.
As a Charter Member of the American Bankers Association’s Committee on Automation Planning and Technology I was a panelist at that same convention as we worked to convert the 14,000 banks of this country to automation and the ubiquitous Credit Card. All of these subjects were signs of the times leading toward the demise of the Soviet Union in favor of an evolutionary process toward One World.
In addition to the 1972 White House Conference on the Industrial World Ahead a most significant yet quite unnoticed action took place during that same year when President Nixon and his then-Secretary of the Treasury, George Shultz, established a Russian/American organization called the “USA USSR Trade and Economic Council.” Its objective was to bring about a union of the Fortune 500 Chief Executive Officers of this country, among others, such as the hierarchy of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, with their counterparts in the Soviet Union. This important relationship, sponsored by David Rockefeller of Chase Manhattan Bank and his associates, continues into the “One World” years.
This bilateral activity increased during the Reagan/Shultz years of the Eighties despite such “Evil Empire” staged tantrums as the Korean Airlines Boeing 747 Flight 007 “shootdown” in 1983.
It is this “US-TEC” organization, with its counterpart bilateral agreements among other nations and the USSR, that has brought about the massive changes of the former Communist world. These did not go unnoticed. During a speech delivered in 1991, Giovanni Agnelli, chief executive officer of the Fiat Company and one of the most powerful men in Europe, if not the world, remarked:
The fall of the Soviet Union is one of the very few instances in history in which a world power has been defeated on the battlefield of ideas.
Now, is this what Nixon, Stans, Shultz, Ash, Rockefeller and others had in mind during those important decades of the sixties, seventies and eighties. For one thing, it may be said quiet accurately, that these momentous events marked the end of the Cold War and have all but shredded the canopy of the nuclear umbrella over mankind.
The Cold War was the most expensive war in history. R. Buckminister Fuller wrote in Grunch of Giants:
We can very properly call World War I the million dollar war and World War II the billion dollar war and World War III (Cold War) the trillion dollar war.
The power structure that kept the Cold War at that level of cost and intensity had been spearheaded by the Secret Team and its multinational covert operations, to wit:
This is the fundamental game of the Secret Team. They have this power because they control secrecy and secret intelligence and because they have the ability to take advantage of the most modern communications system in the world, of global transportation systems, of quantities of weapons of all kinds, and when needed, the full support of a world-wide U.S. military supporting base structure. They can use the finest intelligence system in the world, and most importantly, they have been able to operate under the canopy of an assumed, ever-present enemy called “Communism.” It will be interesting to see what “enemy” develops in the years ahead. It appears that “UFO’s and Aliens” are being primed to fulfill that role for the future. To top all of this, there is the fact that the CIA, itself, has assumed the right to generate and direct secret operations.
–L. Fletcher Prouty
Alexandria, VA 1997