When a Lie Becomes “The Truth”

In 1986, in the aftermath of America’s criminal violation of international law with the bombing of Libya, the Reagan Administration got itself briefly into hot water when it was discovered that the pretext upon which it had ordered the bombing of a sovereign state was in fact based upon a lie. In the wake of the fallout, an administration official by the name of Bernard Kalb resigned from his position with the following words: “I am dissenting from the reported disinformation program. I am concerned about the impact of such a program on the credibility of the US.”

When [then] Secretary of State George Shultz was questioned by the media on the administration’s disinformation campaign (a nice way of describing a “campaign” of officially sanctioned lies and deceits aimed in large part at the American people), his verbatim response was as follows: “I know of no decision to have people go out and tell lies to the media. I think, however, that if there were ways in which we could make Qadhafi nervous, why shouldn’t we? That’s not deceiving you, but just using your predictable tendencies to report things that we try to keep secret.” Then he said, “I don’t believe in telling lies myself. I would call your attention, however, to a quote from Winston Churchill: ‘In time of war, the truth is so precious it must be attended by a bodyguard of lies.’ ”

A paragraph from one of the numerous political commentaries written about the incident at the time found its way into my notebook. It was written by Washington Post columnist William Raspberry: “If it is sometimes right to withhold truth, it is almost always wrong, and counterproductive, for the government to lie to the press, and, through it, the American people. Kalb’s principled resignation may help to make that point more clearly than any protest from the media ever could.”

Unfortunately, the “protest” from the media was remarkable only for its brevity; for the establishment media is, and has always been (when it comes to certain issues) part of the problem. To this very day, when any reference is made to the American government’s past fixation on Libya (and its President Muammar Qadhafi), more often than not the lie, concerning Libya’s alleged involvement in the German discotheque bombing, is regurgitated.

Rogue elements within our government – along with compliant elements within the mainstream media – operate on the following principle: if you repeat a lie loud enough, and often enough; the lie soon becomes a truth in the collective mind of the people. In my relatively short lifetime I’ve seen this process play itself out over and over again, in so many different ways. And thus, in the spirit of that Quranic admonition – “Do not become an advocate for those who betray their trusts” – I strive to remain always mindful of this in my own personal search for truth, and I encourage my brothers and sisters operating within any area of the opinion shaping apparatus (and especially Muslim media) to do the same. Which brings me to the point of this commentary.

I recently read an erroneous report in a Muslim publication regarding Sheikh Umar Abdur Rahman – one that I have often heard repeated time and time again in the mainstream media, as if it were the truth. The offending passage in the report under the caption, “Rahman Develops Gangrene,” reads as follows: “Sheikh Omar was sentenced to life in prison by a federal court in 1996 over his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed six people and injured more than 1,000 others.” This is a lie!!! The World Trade Center, the tallest structure in New York (standing 110 stories), was bombed on February 26, 1993, in the middle of a busy workday. Sheikh Umar Abdur Rahman was arrested on bogus immigration charges on July 2, 1993, and held for approximately three months, for the following reasons in my humble opinion: (a) to explore what conspiratorial possibilities could be used against him and; (b) to see if there would be any principled reaction from the growing Muslim-American population and its “leadership.” In due course, the US government proceeded with what appears to have been the real agenda – a criminal indictment to permanently neutralize that troublesome cleric!

Time and space limitations will not permit me to explore this issue in any more detail at this time; let it suffice to say, the US Department of Justice moved forward with a baseless multi-count criminal indictment against the blind hafiz al-Quran, with the most serious charge being “seditious conspiracy” against the United States. This is what Sheikh Umar Abdur Rahman and eleven other brothers were convicted of – as the late William “Bill” Kunstler put it, “the [alleged] conspiracy to blow up everybody and everything” – and not the “World Trade Center bombing.” We must never for get this!