Imperial cheerleaders have a habit of blaming Iran for everything bad that happens to a US occupation, so I have come to accept they will pull that boogeyman out any chance they get. And yet I was still surprised when CNN contributor and Bush regime mouthpiece Frances Townshend and Brad Thor, a political thriller novel author, started saying Iran was probably responsible for this weekend’s shootdown of a US chopper that killed 30 American military personnel, including members of the SEAL team that killed Osama bin Laden.
Townshend is a former Homeland Security Adviser to President Bush and is still an adviser for DHS and the CIA, whatever her merits. But who is this Brad Thor character? He was never in the military, and claims with no official verification to have “shadowed” a Black ops team in Afghanistan to research a novel. He was a regular contributor on the show of retired Fox News nutbag bawler Glenn Beck, and is for some reason a member of the Heritage Foundation. He also claims — again with no official verification — to have been invited by Homeland Security to come up with imaginary terrorist scenarios.
Townshend expressed alarm that the Taliban were able to act so close to the capital of their own country, where “our troops” are supposed to be shoring up the corrupt Karzai regime — something she sees as a good thing. She used the shootdown to illustrate how “fragile” American “gains” are in the country and that we shouldn’t pull out our troops “too quickly.” So far, pretty typical.
CNN host John King then asked Thor if the Afghan government was ready to take on security after the foreigners leave. No, he said, “the Afghan government is completely corrupt — and it’s riddled with Iranian spies! There’s a lot about the killing, the terrible tragedy of these SEALs being killed that is very, very disturbing, John.”
That’s when I stared at the screen in disbelief. Really, he just dragged Iran into this? Hey, why not? Everyone hates Iran.
And then Townshend backed Thor up. “We have seen an increasing amount of Iranian involvement and support in Afghanistan… and oh, by the way, they’ve been spoilers, inserting themselves into Afghanistan and undermining US efforts. The Iranians don’t always come in the front door,” she continued, saying they use proxies. Those dastardly Muslims are always doing that.
She went on to say the Iranians act as “spoilers” all over the world just to mess with America. “And it made sense in Iraq, a neighbor… but we see it as well in Afghanistan.” She didn’t say who “we” are, exactly, but who needs citations on a mere news program?
This is all still very typical, vaguely blaming the enemy of the day. But it got out of hand when the fiction novelist, speaking with the authority of an official in the know, started saying “we” have word that the type of weapon used to down the chopper is the same as seen used by “Shi’ite extremists” in Iraq, which “had Iranian fingerprints all over them.” These “fingerprints” are merely the fact that the materials that make up these weapons are possibly manufactured in Iran. The US government has unsuccessfully proved that the Iranian government itself ever had anything to do with the supply of militia weapons in Iraq over the last several years. In fact, as Jason Ditz recently pointed out, Iran has a good relationship with the Iraqi government and would not likely seek to undermine it.
“We don’t have confirmation” for what exactly took down the Chinook, Thor said, but if we simply refer back… here, right! to the thing he said earlier about Iranians in the Afghan government, it would seem to almost… prove? sure! that Iran gave weapons to the Taliban to do a terrible, awful, evil, oriental thing like attack an invading military force. Because really, Thor persisted, we’re supposed to believe monkeys like the Taliban could point a thing and shoot it at another thing!? I mean come on, amirite?
We’re back to believing Iran, fighting its own extremely violent US-backed Sunni terrorist attacks on its own turf, would support another Sunni extremist movement in a neighboring country? Not to mention Karzai himself has admitted to receiving “large sacks of cash” from the Iranian government!
Why was this Thor person on CNN, or any other news shows? Because he writes some Tom Clancyesque novels? And because of this he’s allowed to spread random, baseless anti-Iran propaganda with a “yeah!” from another so-called “expert”? Seriously?
CNN shouldn’t have fantasy novelists like Brad Thor on their news programs anymore unless they want their own reporting to continue to read a lot more like fiction.
40 thoughts on “CNN Allows Fantasy Novelist to Seriously Blame Iran for Afghanistan Chopper Shootdown”
I think that what you are saying is true to an extent of what your title and topic is about. But blaming only this news organization can lead to a very narrow view on the 'problem' at hand. It isn't just cnn that is doing this, mainstream media in the US tends to have this affect. I don't think that Iran promoting or funding terrorism and gaining weapons of 'mass destruction' is irrational at all because they have a right to fear the US. They have been invaded before and the fact that two US occupied land border Iran is nothing short of hilarious. It would be irrational for them not to panic and cause a stir, when the media in the US is constantly talking about how we should go to war with Iran. I think that what you say about cnn is true, but make sure that you aren't just pointing to one and not pointing at the others.
I find it VERY hard to believe we haven't figured out what kind of weapon brought down the Chinook. Was it AAA? Was it an RPG? Was it a shoulder fired SAM like a Stinger? Was it a modern-day Vasily Zaitsev armed with a flintlock jezzail? Surely somebody saw the chopper when it was hit- what did they see?
Besides eyewitnesses, what of the wreckage? Did the chopper come down in one piece, or did it disintegrate in mid-air? Did it burn? What about the crash impact? Did the fuselage remain intact? What sort of weapon signature was evident? Was it a huge, gaping hole or a neat puncture- and where did the weapon hit? Engine or cockpit or cargo ramp or midship?
You can't tell me we didn't secure the crash site and immediately run a fine-toothed comb over the wreckage. You can't tell me we didn't seek out the shooter(s) who brought down the chopper- what were they armed with and what sort of technology did they have in their possession?
First, to say we don't know what happened is at best doubtful, given the amount of intelligence assets we have invested over there. Second, to say we don't know what shot our bird down is at best doubtful as well, given that we supposedly have the best weapons and crash forensics teams in the world. Third, to implicate Iran WITHOUT A SINGLE SHRED OF EVIDENCE is not only dishonest and self-serving, but it's bad business all around and serves only to inflame already high-strung politicians on both sides of the table.
In short, the US military needs to come clean about what it knows regarding the downed chopper- they owe it to the soldiers to tell the truth about their deaths. The US government need to tell the truth about our real purpose in remaining in Afghanistan (hint: it has NOTHING to do with spreading democracy or making the world safe from The Terrorists ™ ). Third, second- and third-string talking heads need to SHUT UP when they have nothing factual to add to the already overheated conversation regarding this incident; making baseless accusations is wasting airtime and MY time.
I don't want to take anything away from the memories of those who perished in the crash, but at the same time I am very uneasy about the truth being obscured or even completely manipulated. There are a lot of unanswered questions about this deadly incident, and the US public deserves to know the truth. I am loathe to admit that I am getting a sense of previous incidents being fabricated and twisted for political purposes- Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman immediately come to mind.
The question to Ask is, does he know that Iran is a neighbouring country of Afghanistan also…
Does anyone really still watch CNN? Seriously? They stopped being a real news station years ago.
Yes, but so did MSNBC. Fox doesn't count.. The U.S. does not have an honest, fair, reliable, unbiased T.V. station. I take my hat off to the brilliant job that a group of fanatic religious zealots plus a coterie of absolute stupid Christian fundamentalists.
Face it curmudgeonvt, THERE IS NO UNBIASED press in the U.S.
Townshend is a former Homeland Security Adviser to President Bush and is still an adviser for DHS and the CIA, whatever her merits.
Being an advisor or an expert is the problem.
Could Iran be behind the riots in London?!
Not to mention Birmingham, Nottingham, Liverpool and Bristol. It's the domino theory in action.
Not only that, I think that Iranians trained and indoctrinated Breivik, before they sent him to do his grisly job. I am sure one who can use Photoshop would find similarities between facial features of Ahmadinejad and Breivik. Also I have heard he was fond of pistachios, which we know came from Persia.
US policy on Iran seems at every step to turn more and more into a fictional narrative or hallucination, which has nothing to do with the real Iran but is instead driven by our own need for an enemy. They offered a comprehensive peace deal in 2003 and even offered to open thrir nucleat program to joint participation, but we dismissed and ignored them, because we need the “threat” of Iran as a pretext, just as WMDs in Iraq were a pretext.
Aside from the propaganda spewing from the bullsh*t media there seems to be an awful lot of unnecessary speculation going back and forth in all venues about this shootdown…and it's not like it's the first time things like this have happened. Hell, during our late misadventure in Indochina aircraft were getting shot down just about every day…and most of them were helos going in and out of LZs. And just about as many were lost due to operational accidents. It's called combat in a combat zone…however unjustified our presence. So, get used to it. That sh*t happens. They were unlucky…and maybe even a bit foolish by flying through a steep-sided valley making them vulnerable to an attack from above. Most likely it was an RPG since the Taliban doesn't have a lot of heavy machine guns or AAA. Generally not mobile enough for their style of guerilla warfare and small arms fire wouldn't have brought that bird down so catastrophically. And I seriously doubt Iranian involvement. Just another vagary of war.
America can take new night mare and attack Iran and their destruction accelerate.
Neo-cones will destroy america totally for Israel as they see in the world only israel.
America should Jews have no sympathy with others only their interest.
Wouldn't want to blame Libya after the U.S. allowed al Qaeda militants to get ahold of 20,000 shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles from looted arms depots. U.S. politicians can never accept responsibility for its blunders.
I remember, during the Viet Nam War- that near the end, the North Vietnamese learned how to shoot down B-52s. In one week they shot down about 8 which led us to cease B-52 raids on the North. Without bombing raids, the North could go back back and forth to the South with impunity. Shortly after, we gave up on the whole sorry war. The secret of the North Vietnamese newly founded tactics or technology was never revealed, if known. We, as a country, just knew the jig was up. We knew that the price of bombing was going up and it was time to pull the curtain.
Hopefully, that same conclusion will come to us regarding this sorry war.
Did you know, Richard, there was a B-52 pilot's strike? After so many aircraft were shot down, the pilots refused to fly. They WERE getting the shit shot out of them. The military's response? They put the 'ringleaders' immediately in prison and court-martialed a bunch of officers. They kept the lid on it – very tight security concerning the entire matter. Seymour Hersh was the reporter who uncovered the story.
The most likely thing, according to our ancient friend Occam, is that one of the troops, perhaps one of the Afghanis on board, accidently (or not?) set off an explosive of some kind on the aircraft. These commando fellows are no doubt armed with explosive devices for the purpose of blowing up doors, enemy vehicles, and so on. Perhaps it was a tragic accident?
President Obama has just now officially stated his preference for continuing these wars, indicating that he preferred weakening Medicare in order to find the financial resources to do so.
Nothing will stop the peace laureate and the rest of official from pursuit of more war. Upon this now and for many years past they have bet the US farm.
Thus I prefer they choose to fight what is an existential war in Afghanistan, 8000 miles from the US homeland, in the most intractable human and physical terrain in the world. And in a place where they must sooner or later be confronted by Russia and China.
Were they not bogged down there in Central Asia they would be fighting in Venezuela or Cuba, where they might have some chance of "victory."
Only state bankruptcy carried to the extent of that which brought down the USSR will cause the USA to cease its Fascistic aggressions.
What does old Wayne Madsen have to say about all this?
Iran or not, CNN or FOX, we got no chance. Every empire fell after losing it's elite soldiers here and there, how different are we. They ain't the last anyway, more deaths will come as we hop from one foreign country to another.
Well, did you know that the US supplied portable Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to the Taliban during their war against the USSR in the 1980s, and the British supplied them with Blowpipe missiles?
These missiles caused utter havoc with advanced Soviet Hind helicopter gunships at the time.
Maybe it was an old US Stinger or UK Blowpipe that destroyed the US Chinook helicopter in 2011.
Recent media speculation was that it was a lucky shot from an RPG. Now CNN speculates that Iran recently supplied weapons to the Taliban, despite complete animosity between the two.
Whatever realy happened, the US Dept. of Defence will not be releasing a factual press release.
Yeah, those dirty scoundrels! I hung my laundry out to dry and it was the Iranians who scattered it all over the backyard! They're behind the downgrade, too. I also thought I saw a few Iranians creeping around the set of a few cancelled t.v. shows. Don't let them be contestants on "Dancing with the Stars"! Write a protest letter to the network bigwigs – today! No one's reporting it; but Bristol Palin's first dancing partner was an Iranian. They discovered his true identity only after the first rehearsal. You should have seen the outtakes of his choreography – he wrapped himself in an American flag while prancing around the stage and set himself on fire – the fatal giveaway. We've got him now, though. He's enjoying the warm Cuban sunshine as I write this.
Pretending not to know who Brad Thor is doesn't make you sound cool, jackass, just ignorant.
Very similar to having Alan Greenspan on Meet the Press to discuss financial issues. ALAN GREENSPAN!!!!!!
I watched that standing in line at the bank. The MOP ( ministry of propaganda) and their experts, still after Iran. Many years ago, when Fran Townsend became Dubya's terror advisor I looked up her bio. Not much,, nothing really to qualify as an expert. Then this article, An Outsider's Quick Rise to Bush Terror Advisor. Washington Post Aug. 27 2005. google it. Another BROWNIE. I stopped watching the MOP about that time. Please stop referring to the hacks as corporate or mainstream media. MOP is official. As for the expert Brad Thor (???) thor?? ha..ha.. fantasy hack. enough said.
Nothing he writes is fantasy, or close. If you would care to actually enlighten yourself instead of making assumptions gathered from this blogger, you would see that Brad is a patriot and a tremendously talented writer. His books are fantastic reads, no matter your political affiliation.
I stopped listening to CNN. They are clearly a source of bias news and i do not need them. I do not listen to Fox either. I do not accept the others completely but with CNN is was so clear as to make it a waste of time to listen.
In May 2010 General McChrystal the( then) top US commander in Afghanistan said.. "There is however, clear evidence of Iranian activity – in some cases providing weaponry and training to the Taliban – that is inappropriate,"
In Aug 2010..The Treasury Department said..Iranians were aiding the Taliban http://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releas…
In March 2011 in testimony before Congress General David Petraeus, top military commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan said Iran has “without question” provided weapons, training and funding to the Taliban.
Dubya, Cheeney, Fried Rice, Rummy, told you Saddam had WMD's and building nuuclear weapons .Clear evidence, without question, what do you want a mushroom cloud. When the truth came out you stuck fingers in yer ears and yelled LALALALALALALA!!!!
As did Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and the rest of the democrats in congress at the time. Everyone decided together to send us to Iraq, as a congress, both parties included.
It's just the liberals who now pretend that they never supported it.
By the way, Hoover, regarding the post at hand, instead of sticking your fingers in your ears and yelling "LALALALALALALA", are you going to actually respond to the post? Or would you rather call the treasury department, General McChrystal, and General Petraeus hacks and fantasy writers as well?
Please, don't let facts get in the way of your liberal agenda.
Having Brad Thor on to talk national security is like having Emmit Smith on to talk football. It's just plain crazy!
Those poor afghanis have to put up with a Iranian spy infested government and a USA spy infested government simultaneously… That must be confusing.
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Its my gut feeling that the helicopter was deliberately shot down by either our CIA or the MOSSAD, on orders from the top. Think about it. With Ron Paul's anti-war positions getting massive support and impossible-to-hide applause during every single GOP debate, and like last time – I've been reading that he is the leading recipient of donations from the military rank and file, which clearly means that the troops are sick and tired of being cannon fodder for Israel and the neo-con war criminals – all these factors are scaring these war mongering, Israel-firsters. They need to create an incident that results in a large loss of American life, in hopes of rekindling the anger of Americans to go get some 'revenge'. This helicopter shoot down might be part of that effort – and this might help explain why there is so few details of the actual shoot down and crash being revealed.
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