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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 1/24/15

Charlie Hebdo, A Free Press, And Social Security

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Reprinted from Paul Craig Roberts

Soul Eater -- Unnecessary Censorship
Copyrighted Image? DMCA
rbidden="margin: 0px 0px 20px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 16px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(33, 32, 11); font-family: 'Droid Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; line-height: 27px; background-image: initial; background-attachment: initial; background-size: initial; background-origin: initial; background-clip: initial; background-position: initial; background-repeat: initial;">Puzzled by the title? It will all come clear.

Europeans have written to me with more information that raises questions about the Charlie Hebdo affair. Some point out the strange emptiness of the street on which the professional killers depart. Others point out the film has hallmarks of orchestration or staging. Still others point out the size and described physical attributes of the killers do not correspond with the accused brothers and that the getaway car turns away from the scene differently from the official description. Another puzzle is that the video of the police assault on the deli repeatedly shows police moving in front of other police who are firing their weapons, yet despite the pointblank range are not hit. And there are other matters.

All I can say is that clearly at least some Europeans notice and on the basis of what they have seen have a lot of suspicion. I cannot evaluate the information sent to me. I do not know the neighborhood in Paris or traffic patterns. I know nothing about film making. Those who know enough about these matters for their suspicions to be aroused are the ones who need to address these issues. Possibly some of these suspicions are contrived red herrings designed to redirect the focus of suspicion down dead ends and discredit skeptics.

In my articles I raised a question about the official story, which was so completely at the ready as to appear pre-packaged. I said that the official story had many of the characteristics of a false flag operation. I did not say it was one. My intent is for the media to make some effort to verify the story and not simply repeat the script handed to them. I made it clear that I thought it unlikely the story would be examined by the print and TV media. As Patrick Smith makes clear in CounterPunch, an embedded media is not a media. Journalism is absent, along with truth.

My column was used both by neoconservatives and the left-wing People for the American Way to attack or to try to embarrass Ron Paul.

I learned of this when an email arrived from a Washington Post reporter asking if I had considered the possible effect on Rand Paul's presidential prospects before writing the article for a Ron Paul website. Apparently, the reporter had in mind a story: "Paul Craig Roberts Derails Rand Paul's Presidential Hopes." I suppose the story was going to be that, by publishing the conspiracy kook Roberts, Ron Paul had destroyed his son's chance to become President.

At the time I had no idea what the Washington Post reporter was asking about. I replied that I write for my website and that, once I post, many other websites from locations around the world pick up the column and repost it and that it is beyond my powers to consider what implications my columns might have for all the known and unknown websites that might choose to republish it.

Next I learned from readers that some non-entity named Luke Brinker, who doesn't even rate a Wikipedia entry, had attacked Ron Paul on the tabloid site Salon: "...Ron Paul defends insane Charlie Hebdo conspiracy theory," and in the process called me a "paleoconservative crank and notorious 9/11 truther."

What was this all about? It turned out that the notorious neoconservative William Kristol had started it. Kristol's way of defending the official story was to try to bring embarrassment to Ron Paul, with the result that libertarians would line up with the official story in defense of Ron Paul.

Misrepresentation of my article was essential to the plot. My statement that the Charlie Hebdo affair has characteristics of a false-flag event was turned into an accusation that it was a false-flag event. Of course, we don't have proof one way or the other. On one side we have an official narrative that relies entirely on belief in the veracity of officials and their embedded media, which after Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran, and Ukraine is not very high. On the other hand we have the suspicious aspects that many have pointed out.

When Ron Paul was deposed on People for the American Way's RightWing Watch, he stated the obvious. He said that I had not said it was a false-flag event but had pointed out reasons that suspicious needed to be investigated and answered for the sake of the credibility of the official account. Ron Paul said that he supports that sound approach and that it was important for people to think and not simply blindly accept government explanations.

That should have been the end of it. But no, libertarians responded not quite like Kristol had hoped but partially. Dale Steinreich wrote on that he "doesn't buy Roberts' posited theory," thus perpetuating the misrepresentation as I have no theory, only suspicions. Steinreich then takes issue with the various neoconservative and leftwing obscurantists who are out to get Ron Paul.

I think that Steinreich is unnecessarily defensive. Ron Paul needs no defense from proven warmongers and ideological jerks. Nevertheless, Steinreich took the bait. Part of his defense of Ron Paul is to write: "For clarity, Paul Craig Roberts is not a libertarian. ... he is a supporter of federal programs such as Social Security and Medicare." As hardly anything could be worse than that, not even conspiracy suspicions, Steinreich concludes that "far more left progressives share the totality of [Roberts'] current views than libertarians."

So here we have again the view about which I have written so often that the great mass of people cannot evaluate what is said or written without first classifying it into a prevailing ideological box. If what is said fits their box, it is correct. If not, it is wrong. According to this way of thinking, If you support Social Security and Medicare you are a left-wing progressive. Therefore, the left-wing freaks attacking Ron Paul are really attacking their own Paul Craig Roberts.

Steinreich certainly turns the tables on the feeble-minded who tried to attack Ron Paul through me.

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Dr. Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy in the Reagan Administration. He was associate editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal, columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service. He is a contributing editor to Gerald Celente's Trends Journal. He has had numerous university appointments. His books, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is available (more...)

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