Michael S. Rozeff
LRC Blog
March 14, 2012

First came rumors in print of satellite photos showing that Iran was covering up secret and significant nuclear work at Parchin (a containment vessel). Now comes good information debunking these rumors.

One source of the anti-Iran propaganda was the news service Agence France-Presse (AFP). On Aug. 21, 2011, before AFP broke its accusatory story, an internet buyer of its news feed named Activist Post said that AFP’s stories are prone to be lies. Now that the original Parchin story is being revealed as false, the comments of Activist Post gain credibility, since they were penned 7 months ago. The title of their article about AFP’s reporting was “How Much War Propaganda Can AFP Cram Into a 10-Sentence Article?” They were speaking at that time of lies spread about Libya. I reproduce the relevant portions of the Activist Post criticisms:

“As many of our readers know, Activist Post features a mainstream news feed from Agence France-Presse (AFP).  Typically they have much edgier news than Associated Press or Reuters, but by simply reporting State Department releases they also push a lot of imperial propaganda.

“Although we are licensed to publish up to ten articles a day, we have never published our maximum limit because many of the stories are loaded with warmongering lies — especially regarding Libya.

“The article below just came across our news feed and it’s so off base from the on-the-ground reporting in Libyathat it could not be posted without this preamble.

“In defense of AFP, most of the rhetoric are direct quotes from the State Department, but perhaps the most ridiculous propaganda is spewed by an unnamed ‘AFP correspondent’ who claims ‘rebels arrived in the capital (Tripoli) in a 100-vehicle convoy by late afternoon and were greeted with cheers by residents.'”

Notice that the U.S. State Department is a major source of the lies, misinformation and propaganda that AFP irresponsibly transmits to the world as “news”.

The U.S. government and its sub-units are not the only such liars. There are many other such sources in America and other countries. The Libyan War began, continued and ended with many lies. There was the false story of Gaddafi hiring black mercenaries. It was easy to fake photos since Libya had many sub-Saharan guest workers who were dark-skinned. There were fake stories and photos blaming them for atrocities that were actually perpetrated by Arab rebels armed and instigated by the West, France and Great Britain in particular. There were fake stories about massacres. There were fake stories about rapes and Viagra.

All it takes for a lying planted story to “succeed” is that one or a few supposedly reputable people or organizations repeat it. First impressions count for quite a lot. People tend to believe the first story, especially if it is graphic and catches the imagination or supposedly can be confirmed by physical evidence. The later debunking of the lies is like rolling a heavy stone uphill.

Intelligence operatives posing as journalists are in a perfect position to spread lies. They are picked up and repeated by those who have an axe to grind or who want already to identify some element as “bad” and use the propaganda to back up their contentions. Lies become part of reality, not as facts, but as lies thought to be facts.

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