Posts Tagged ‘terrorisim’


Mis/Disinformation in the Vacuum

By Joe Giambrone

A corporate media vacuum concerning the issue of bomb squad “training exercises” reported by a very credible witness, led to rampant misquoting and speculation across the blathersphere.

Since Monday, we have seen conspiracy theories take off, fostered primarily by extremists on the far right.  Very sloppy misquoting of actual reports has been repeated and embellished on.

The initial news report comes from Alastair (“Ali”) Stevenson, a Boston Marathon runner and eyewitness.  Broadcast in his hometown of Mobile, Alabama, on Channel 15, this news report names Stevenson as “University of Mobile’s Cross Country Coach.”  The report states that he is a veteran marathon runner with participation in major marathons around the world.  This news report has become the jumping off point for numerous similar reports on blogs, websites, Facebook, Twitter, you name it.  Only they misquote what he actually said, while sometimes even placing newly-fabricated claims in quotation marks.  This goes beyond sloppy journalism and into the realm of outright lying about what the news story reports.

Stevenson said:

“My wife Melanie, she had been sitting right where the explosions went off.  She had come to see me at the finish, and then we were walking back down toward the finish area, and all of a sudden we heard a loud explosion, and then this sulfur smell came through and then another explosion went off, and then people just started running and there was people crying in the street.  It was a horrible experience.

…At the start line this morning they had um bomb spotters on the roofs of the buildings and they had bomb sniffing dogs coming up and down at the start line and Melanie said there were bomb sniffing dogs at the finish line.

…They kept making announcements saying to the participants ‘do not worry, this is just a training exercise.’  Evidently I don’t believe this was just a training exercise.  I think they must have known.  They must have had some kind of threat or suspicions called in.

…I’ve run in some of the biggest marathons in the world.  I’ve run in London, in the Washington DC one, Chicago and I’ve never seen anything like that before a marathon.

We are just so thankful right now.”

That is the entirety of the TV15 report from Ali Stevenson.  Another interview with Stevenson by Anthony Gucciardi confirms his initial statements that the bomb squad training exercises were announced and occurring at the start of the 2013 Boston Marathon race.

What happened next needs to be examined carefully.  But I must also point out the complete absence of any reporting on these “training exercise” announcements from any national corporate media source.  All day Tuesday I monitored Google News search for more about these training exercises which this participant eyewitness says were announced by authorities during the race.  Wikipedia claims 500,000 spectators watched the race, and so where is the confirmation and follow-up by the media concerning these police announcements?  Why the silence?

The significance of alleged “training exercises” is yet to be determined, a strange unknown oddity, but the corporate press for some inexplicable reason is not interested in talking about this issue.  It cannot be for lack of relevance.  If bomb sniffing dogs were patrolling the beginning of the race, there should be many questions asked of the officials in charge.  More than 24 hours has passed since the bombings, and as yet not one network or major newspaper will even acknowledge the heightened security presence or the bomb squads reported by Stevenson.  This is problematic, as these announcements would be widely known to those in attendance.

Further muddying our reality today, I have come across post after article that misquotes Ali Stevenson.

A writer named Mike Adams posted this interpretation at

“As an eyewitness reports, once the bombs went off, officials began announcing, ‘this is just a drill!’”

The paragraph after cites Mobile Alabama’s Cross Country coach as the source.  This glaring contortion of the eyewitness report contains two major alterations. First: the timing is now changed to “Once the bombs went off,” which is nowhere suggested by Ali Stevenson.  The second is the meaning of the word “this” in “this is just a drill!”  In Stevenson’s account “this” refers to the enhanced security presence, however in Mike Adams’ creative take “this” now refers to the explosions.  Quite a distortion.  Unfortunately this GlobalResearch piece has been used as a source by those repeating this misinformation without checking the original source.  Like a game of “Telephone” each passing of the data becomes more elaborate and creative.

Mike Adams returns at Alex Jones’ stie with another version of this distorted claim:

“The real breaking news is found in the alternative media, where Anthony Gucciardi of just nailed an on-the-record interview with Alastair Stevenson, the University of Alabama cross country track coach who heard law enforcement telling the crowd, ‘It’s just a drill’ immediately after the explosions.”

No, Stevenson didn’t.  That is strike two for Mr. Adams.  Nowhere does Stevenson say, “immediately after the explosions.”

Now, the main problem with this poor journalism is that not only do they rely on and twist the statements of this single witness.  They fail to talk to any other of the many thousands of marathon witnesses who could easily confirm the drill announcements, with minimal legwork involved.

Adams again for the Trifecta:

“Boston Marathon Bombing happened on Same Day as “Controlled Explosion” Drill by Boston Bomb Squad”

A controlled explosion drill?  While a controlled explosion was reported (Boston Globe Twitter Feed), one hour after the initial bombings, in order to detonate another device found at the JFK Library, in what way is that a “drill?”  This is a live response to multiple bombings, and cannot be considered a “drill.”  This is clearly conflating the concept of the exercise with that of the later actions post-bombings.  Why conflate concepts, when it is far simpler to state plainly the evidence?  Result is that “controlled explosion drill” is Tweeted and posted all over the web as if this was a real thing.  One day after the event and 43,000 results turn up on Google.

So how does posting clear misinformation help us get to the bottom of what happened in Boston?

Rampant speculation has filled the information vacuum as corporate media have failed in a uniform, monolithic fashion to investigate the presence of the bomb squad prior to the bombings.  When exactly was this announced “exercise” planned?  Who was involved behind the scenes?  What agencies participated and had detailed specific knowledge of the security posture and procedures?  How could backpack bombs detonate a full four hours after the start of the race with all that enhanced security?  Why hasn’t information been forthcoming on the security and drills?

Perhaps this is all one big very strange coincidence, but that doesn’t prove that it was.  To assume the exercises mean nothing and were of no relevance to the successful bombings is as speculative as claiming that Dick Cheney did it.  The failure to pursue the story, bordering on a cover-up, is suspicious.

Training exercises have coincided with other highly suspicious bombings in the past, including Oklahoma City (BATF), the London 7/7 bombings, and of course the big one, 9/11.  Several different military exercises were reported in various news sources concerning the morning of the 9/11 attacks, and this has never been fully accounted for by the government. The 9/11 military exercises were code named Vigilant Guardian, Vigilant Warrior, Northern Vigilance, Northern Guardian, Tripod II and a CIA / National Reconnaissance Office “plane into building” exercise.

With all that vigilance and guarding they still managed to let a hijacked plane slip through and impact the military headquarters of the world’s empire, even with over an hour’s warning that actual live hijackings were taking place.