A widely circulated video in which an army ranger confessed to the brutal indiscriminate murder of Iraqi civilians and its vehement debunking as a hoax has acted as a smokescreen for the very real admission and evidence of US war crimes in Iraq.
Working in this field for five years and scanning news on a day to day basis you quickly develop and hone a bullshit detector that can spot hoaxes, psy-ops and frauds from a mile off. As soon as the MacBeth Marine video hit the Internet I smelt a very large rat.
The alternative media community is plagued by deliberate disinformation specialists and gullible individuals who will act as unwitting conduits for bogus information. This minefield of deception breeds confusion, distraction and lowers the credibility of the truth community.
In the video, MacBeth claims that he was part of a unit that regularly killed innocent Iraqis, their wives and children if they didn't explicitly follow orders.
Proof that the video is a hoax is legion. MacBeth's uniform is totally inconsistent with that of a US army ranger and his claimed medals are not verified by any official record. Army spokesman John Boyce said there was no record of MacBeth ever serving.
“Initial research by the U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg shows no Soldier with the name of Jesse Macbeth having ever been assigned to the Special Forces or the Army Rangers -- which are, in fact, two separate disciplines."
At its height, the fake video confession was the number 2 clicked news item across the entire Internet.
The video has eclipsed the real evidence of US war crimes in Iraq. The BBC video above carries bona fide testimony from US soldiers who served in Iraq and were party to killing civilians. To emphasize, this video carries accurate, unimpeachable, and legitimate testimony regarding US war crimes in Iraq.
In addition, charges are expected to be brought against Marines after an investigation into the killing of 24 unarmed civilians in the Iraqi town of Haditha in November. Congressman John Murtha said that the slaughter and its subsequent cover-up could do more to harm the US reputation in Iraq than the Abu Ghraib scandal. To emphasize, this event carries accurate, unimpeachable, and legitimate evidence of US war crimes in Iraq.
The hoax video has allowed Neo-Con media government boot-lickers to discredit all claims of US atrocities in Iraq, despite the fact that the army has admitted to them and charges are pending. This is an exercise in bait and switch and it softens the backlash of opinion against the coalition of the killing when true and verified examples of war crimes are brought to the fore. It dilutes the reaction to a growing body of hardcore evidence of ceaseless atrocities committed against innocent Iraqis.
Fox News wasted no time in exploiting the hoax to whitewash the real issue of war crimes and civilian murders in Iraq. Michelle Malkin (who advocates bringing back internment camps for Muslims) also cited the video as an example of anti-war propaganda and used it to dismiss genuine US-led slaughter in Iraq.
Watch below as fawning Neo-Con Malkin revels in debunking "peace propaganda" by comparing MacBeth's words to John Kerry's Vietnam testimony. This is also the only remaining record of the MacBeth video as all other postings of it have been removed.
News Hounds hit the nail on the head in assessing the consequences of this hoax.
"This segment serves a two-fold purpose. It plants in viewers heads the seed of doubt about stories of atrocities and murder of civilians, just as the Haditha story seems poised to break and expose exactly the kind of behavior dismissed here. For many of FOX's true believers, the Haditha story will be a conspiracy of the liberal media to hurt Bush because they hate him, and this discredited story will bolster their position of denial."
Fox were able to spin the hoax video and offer it as evidence of their ridiculous claim that the turmoil in Iraq is a US media creation and that we really are there to liberate everyone.
In considering the timing of the hoax confession tape it is pertinent to recall a similar instance of bait and switch which occurred at the beginning of the Abu Ghraib scandal.
Two days after the Abu Ghraib torture photos were released, the Internet was flooded with fake rape photos taken from porn websites. So when the actual military report stated that rape did take place at Abu Ghraib, the Neo-Con media junta could discredit and deny it. The Boston Globe inexplicably published these photos days after they were known to be a hoax and then staged-managed an apology, which garnered great attention. Printing the photos and then apologizing was a theatrical set-up to plant seeds of doubt in the minds of the body politic for future release of new photos and allegations.
In addition, staged photos of British soldiers urinating on and beating Iraqis were leaked to the Mirror newspaper in Britain. Despite numerous military eyewitnesses coming forward to say that beatings had taken place, the circus revolved around these few photos which were admitted hoaxes. The public was left with the impression that stories about British troops mistreating Iraqis were fraudulent, even though other cases of abuse had been admitted.
Though the news cycle moves far too quickly to immediately identify a story as a hoax, we should remain guarded in precisely what items we choose to inflate and circulate to a wider audience. Otherwise we're nearly as bad as the White House itself, which produces fake government PR and packages it as 'news' for the indoctrination of a bewildered US television audience.
But you won't see Fox News or Michelle Malkin kick up any fuss about that.