Show Details for the week of September 29th, 2014

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On The Monitor this week:

  • The Brink of Mass Extinction – an interview with Dahr Jamail
  • Khorasan Group: A Concocted Pretext for Bombing Syria? – an interview with Murtaza Hussain

 

More about this week’s guests:

 

DahrDahr Jamail Jamail, a Truthout staff reporter, is the author of The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, (Haymarket Books, 2009), and Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches From an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq, (Haymarket Books, 2007). Jamail reported from Iraq for more than a year, as well as from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Turkey over the last ten years, and has won the Martha Gellhorn Award for Investigative Journalism, among other awards.

Murtaza Hussain just wrote, with Glenn Greenwald, “The Khorasan Group: Anatomy of a Fake Terror Threat to Justify Bombing Syria,” for The intercept, which states: “As the Obama administration prepared to bomb Syria without Congressional or U.N. authorization, it faced two problems. The first was the difficulty of sustaining public support for a new years-long war against ISIS, a group that clearly posed no imminent threat to the ‘homeland.’ A second was the lack of legal justification for launching a new bombing campaign with no viable claim of self-defense or U.N. approval.

“The solution to both problems was found in the wholesale concoction of a brand new terror threat that was branded ‘The Khorasan Group.’ After spending weeks depicting ISIS as an unprecedented threat — too radical even for Al Qaeda! — administration officials suddenly began spoon-feeding their favorite media organizations and national security journalists tales of a secret group that was even scarier and more threatening than ISIS, one that posed a direct and immediate threat to the American Homeland. Seemingly out of nowhere, a new terror group was created in media lore.

“The unveiling of this new group was performed in a September 13 article by Associated Press [written by Ken Dilanian]. who cited unnamed U.S. officials to warn of this new shadowy, worse-than-ISIS terror group. …

“CNN’s supremely stenographic Pentagon reporter, Barbara Starr, went on air as videos of shiny new American fighter jets and the Syria bombing were shown and explained that this was all necessary to stop a Khorasan attack very close to being carried out against the west …

“All of that laid the fear-producing groundwork for President Obama to claim self-defense when he announced the bombing campaign on September 23 with this boast: ‘Once again, it must be clear to anyone who would plot against America and try to do Americans harm that we will not tolerate safe havens for terrorists who threaten our people.’ But once it served its purpose of justifying the start of the bombing campaign in Syria, the Khorasan narrative simply evaporated as quickly as it materialized. …

“Literally within a matter of days, we went from ‘perhaps in its final stages of planning its attack’ (CNN) to ‘plotting as “aspirational”‘ and ‘there did not yet seem to be a concrete plan in the works’ (NYT). …

    “There are serious questions about whether the Khorasan Group even exists in any meaningful or identifiable manner. …”Another journalist for The Intercept, Ken Silverstein, wrote a piece on Ken Dilanian, who recently moved from theL.A. Times to AP: “The CIA’s Mop-Up Man L.A. Times Reporter Cleared Stories With Agency Before Publication.”

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