Suspicion of media collusion between ABC News and The White House just got thicker today as reporter Pierre Thomas filed a report purporting to be "news" but in practice seems to be acting as the media arm of a continuing White House fear campaign. The piece repeats claims that America is entering a "period" of heightened alert, or POHA.
Thomas does not identify "sources" who paint images of al Qaeda "or similar organizations" planning attacks in coming months to capitalize on high-profile events such as the Olympics in Beijing or the November presidential elections in the U.S.
ABC News reports knowledge of government drafts estimating America would be on it's POHA starting next month and lasting through summer of 2009. ABC News is also reporting our government is preparing for "all contingencies during the transition from the Bush administration to that of the next president", which could mean anything from securing "W's" on computer keyboards to stockpiling non-perishable rations in preparation of suspended elections and marshall law.
FBI director Robert Mueller warned ABC News in his most serious voice: "where you have a number of people that are congregated together, we take additional precautions," he said, apparently oblivious to the fact that crowds up to 50,000 gather in major cities almost every night in stadiums and arenas to watch sporting events or concerts.
During our upcoming "period", Homeland Security staff "will be asked to redouble efforts to study terrorism leads. And a number of agencies will be asked to review emergency response plans to a variety of attacks, from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to biological weapons".
This of course, begs the question why would we want to alert terrorists that we are twice as likely to catch them now? Savvy terrorists may decide to wait for lowered alert status when DHS staff is only being half as vigilant, no?
The nation's public threat level is currently only at yellow, or "elevated," but not orange, or "high", because, as ABC News reports, U.S. government officials are mindful that they may be accused of trying to influence the outcome of the presidential elections if they set the alert too high. Barely trying to hide myriad conflicts-of-interest, ABC then quotes Jerry Hauer (not Bauer, Hauer) a former Homeland Security official who has bounced bewteen government agencies and private contractors, now a registered lobbyist for defense firms looking for contracts. Said Hauer, now also an ABC News consultant, "they have to be very careful about the public message to not make it look political or like they're fearmongering."
ABC neglected to balance the DHS claims with any other perspective - not even a random person on the street. Without reporting that the DHS's colored terror alerts have been mocked ceaselessly for years, we all see who guides ABC's editorial judgment.
A rash of Bush administration insiders confirm media manipulation, starting with Colin Powell's Chief of Staff, Lt. Col. Lawrence Wilkerson who revealed the case for war with Iraq was all a "hoax" and that Secretary Powell knew this well.
Then, George Tenet, the Director of the CIA admitted the war was "sold" to the public by Bush and Cheney, but more recently, White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan confirms a "massive operation" inside the White House, under the senior direction of Karl Rove was directly providing "comprehensive talking points to Conservative talk show personalities" to manipulate the media and control the message regarding the war in Iraq and the war on terror (a violation of anti-propaganda laws if government sources are not disclosed).
At times accused of liberal bias, ABC News reportedly found Vice President Dick Cheney's number on the client list provided by "DC Madam" Deborah Jeane Palfrey to ABC reporter Brian Ross in May of 2007. Poised to break the news on 20/20, ABC changed it's mind and killed the story, refusing to say today whether the number was on the list or not. According to the late Palfrey, ABC bowed to government pressure not to go public with certain "names" though they did get the green light to publicize others, one being a deputy to Condi Rice. Such are the negotiations that demonstrate the hidden cooperation between our government and the corporate media.
Before Palfrey was found in a disputed but uninvestigated "suicidal" hanging death, she told interviewers ABC knew at least a half-dozen high ranking State Department and Pentagon officials were former johns, though they only reported one. Louisiana Senator David Vitter admitted he was on the list after being cornered by Hustler magazine. Afterwards, ABC then speciously claimed the porno mag must have somehow gotten a phone list they hadn't. What does this say for ABC's journalism? It means we should be on heightened alert, watching for more collusion between the White House and the House of Mouse.