Anatomy of a Rumor

Anatomy of a Rumor
Vol: 29 Issue: 28 Saturday, February 28, 2004

The Iranian news service reported that Osama bin Laden was captured by the combined forces of the United States and Pakistan in the tribal region of Pakistan s North-West Frontier Province.

The report was obvious propaganda — it also said bin-Laden’s capture took place ‘a long time ago’ and that President Bush wanted to announce the ‘big news’ personally.

It’s too perfect by half. If true, it would give the Democrats all the ammunition they would need to unseat George Bush in November. The Looney Left has been floating ridiculous conspiracy theories like Bush knew about 9/11 and did nothing, or that Osama is already in custody but it s under wraps so he can use it as an election stunt, etc., etc.

And all the presidential hopefuls have, at one time or another in their campaign, given the conspiracist rumors a wink and a nod to stir up the crowd.

It’s the old, ‘what did the president know and when did he know it?’ game John Kerry learned so well during the Nixon years. The question itself does almost as much damage as a direct accusation, but shields the questioner from any backlash. (“I didn’t accuse anybody; I was only asking a question”)

So, when the rumor of bin-Laden’s capture is so transparently false, why is it that it made pretty much every newspaper in the world? China’s Xinhua’s headline was “Osama bin-Laden Captured.” Bloomberg’s headline said, “Bin Laden Captured in Pakistan, Says Unconfirmed Iran News”.

The San Diego Union Tribune’s headline reads, “Iranian State Radio Reports bin-Laden Captured.” It was reported on all the major network news broadcasts and repeatedly on the cable news outlets. And everybody knew it wasn’t true.

They weren’t reporting the CAPTURE; they were openly reporting a RUMOR. They said it was a rumor, and in each of the reports I cited, in the body of the text they reported that it was clear there was absolutely no evidence to support the rumor.

Even Iran’s state news service, when questioned, said they were only reporting a rumor they said they overheard when monitoring a Pashtun language radio broadcast.

One report from quoted an Iranian journalist who said there was no official confirmation from Iran’s government, and that he didn’t believe anybody could keep bin-Laden’s arrest secret for long, anyway.

The news agencies who didn’t headline their stories with the news of Osama’s capture managed to cover the same ground under the headline, “US Denies Report of bin-Laden’s Capture.”


Believe it or not, there a millions of people out there who will read the reports, choose to believe that Bush is keeping Osama under wraps and will have one more reason to add to their list of why they believe there is a mad dictator sitting in the Oval Office.

Although there was no truth to the rumor from the beginning, and the mainstream media knew it, it gave them a chance to reinforce the Left’s propaganda charges that Bush is manipulating the war to benefit his re-election chances in November.

Fringe political sites like, morons like Michael Moore, Jeanine Garafalo and Al Franken will pick up on the rumor and use the ‘where there’s smoke, there’s fire’ trick to build the subliminal case against George Bush.

And use reports in the New York Times, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the cable news outlets and even the Washington Times to make their ‘case’ that the administration is corrupt.

It doesn’t matter that it s a rumor started by the Iranian propaganda machine. The Democrats have embarked on a strategy not unlike the Oriental ‘death of a thousand cuts’.

They intend to pile so many charges on the Bush administration that, by November, they’ll have convinced the voters that Bush is guilty of something — even if they aren’t sure what it is.

I’ve been pointing out for some time what effect the Left’s campaign to destroy George Bush is having on America’s global image. There is only one place that people living in Iran, China or the Islamic world can turn for information about America. To American media.

The mullahs in Iran would like nothing better than to see Bush defeated in November. Rightly or wrongly, they believe that a Democratic administration would be less of a threat to their nuclear ambitions.

The rumor they spun did exactly what they wanted it to do. It added to the global image of an imperial American presidency. And they used the American media, the liberal Left and the presidential wannabes to help them.

On a related note, I was reading about Tony Blair’s political misfortunes, the most recent being charges leaked by a former government minister that the US and UK spied on UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. She in one of a long list of what the media admiringly call ‘whistle-blowers’ that have leaked secret documents that have done serious damage to their governments.

The whole situation in general gave me pause to reflect on just how accurate Paul was in describing society as it would exist in the last days. What passes for American politics in 2004 would have been treason in 1944. That was wartime, but so is this.

And the stakes are arguably much higher in this war than that one was. World War Two threatened the global political order. This war carries with it the threat of global annihilation from rogue nuclear states and terrorists armed with biological and chemical weapons.

But what would have been treasonous conduct sixty years ago is politics as usual today. Selling out one’s country for money, political advantage or to advance a private agenda used to be a crime. Now it is evidence of some higher standard of personal integrity.

Paul wrote to Timothy, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.”

Of all the words that come to mind, considering Iran, al-Qaeda, Iraq, Israel, the Middle East, Europe, Russia, etc., etc., ‘perilous’ describes things best.

It’s as if Paul had in mind the liberal supporters of gay marriage, the homosexual ‘movement’, supporters of abortion, euthanasia, taking prayer out of public life, etc., when he wrote Timothy of the last days.

“Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good. . .”

America is the most hated and mistrusted country on the face of the earth, thanks in no small way to the constant repetition of how corrupt and dishonest our government is. The only country who comes close in the global unpopularity poll is Israel.

America is hated because it is perceived as being a Christian country headed by a Christian cowboy who is engaged in some kind of Christian crusade against Islam. Both those perceptions come directly from charges by America’s media and political elite leveled against the Bush administration.

Israel is hated because it is a Jewish country who claims its right to exist comes directly from God. The whole character of the war is religious, which is why the Left can’t see how dangerous the situation is.

“Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.”

One of the goals of the Left is to advance more homogenous, UN-friendly, all-inclusive global religious structures. Religious leaders from all faiths have already created a UN commission to work toward that exact goal.

“The United Nations can never be the same again.” That was how Bawa Jain, Secretary-General of the Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders, described last year’s Summit at the UN.

“Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”

The half-time Super Bowl show this year accomplished more than al-Qaeda’s most skilled propagandists in convincing the world of America’s moral decadence. It spawned a new domestic debate over public decency, with the Left asking, ‘What’s the big deal?’ over Janet Jackson exposing herself on national TV.

To the Left, canceling Howard Stern for being a public pervert is ‘censorship’ but criticizing the homosexual agenda as being ‘immoral’ is ‘hate speech’ from ‘right wing neoconservative Nazis.’

“For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts.”

And the movie, “The Passion of Jesus Christ” has the Left complaining that the move was ‘too violent’ and should never have been made. As writer Christopher Hutchens told an agreeing panel on PBS yesterday, “I’ll be damned if I want to be part of that kind of Christianity.” Hutchens and the other esteemed and learned panelists have no idea of the truth of that statement.

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2Timothy 3:1-7)

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About Pete Garcia

Christian, father, husband, veteran, pilot, and sinner saved by grace. I am a firm believer in, and follower of Jesus Christ. I am Pre-Trib, Dispensational, and Non-Denominational (but I lean Southern Baptist).

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